Seasonal and Acclimation Period Movements of Translocated Pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas

Howell Pugh, Carlos E. Gonzalez, Dana Karelus, and Louis A. Harveson

Due to decline in pronghorn populations in the Trans-Pecos, a group of concerned stakeholders formed the Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Working Group (TPPWG) in 2009. The TPPWG focus was to determine reasons for the decline and implement solutions to ensure the recovery of the Trans-Pecos pronghorn population. It was determined that the Trans-Pecos population would not recover on its own and that a large-scale translocation would be needed to aid the recovery. In response to the declining population, a translocation effort began in 2011. Since 2011, four pronghorn translocations have occurred, moving 668 pronghorn to the Trans-Pecos. Equipping 30% to 60% of the adult female pronghorn with GPS collars during each translocation.

Using GPS data from the radio-collared pronghorn, we assessed the home range and acclimation movements of translocated animals in the Marfa Plateau and Marathon Basin over four timeframes (acclimation period, peak fawning period, dry season, and wet season). We used kernel density estimator, generalized linear models, and a linear mixed model to test differences between translocations.

No significant differences were found among home range sizes in either the acclimation or the peak fawning periods. However, we did identify significant differences in that dry season home ranges were larger than the wet season home ranges. Home ranges of translocated female pronghorn indicate the need for future conservation and habitat management at a large scale.

Funding sources: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and the Potts-Sibley Fellowship