Pronghorn Migration Has Remained the Same Since Prehistoric Times: Details on Their Annual Journey

by Katie Maloney

Did you know that the Pronghorn have been migrating in the same path for 6,000 years?

The pronghorn’s migration pattern is one of the most ancient journeys in North America. The trek consists of 120 miles through Wyoming, ending in Grand Teton National Park. The animals have managed to evolve through circumstances that have killed off many other animal species since ancient times. However, there are new obstacles the species are facing that they may not be able to evolve past.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been studying the Path of the Pronghorn since 2003. However, through a combination of field research and GIS analysis, the team discovered a problem. They learned that housing developments, roads, and fences threaten to sever the animals’ path at crucial locations.

As one of the longest large mammal migration corridors remaining in North America, it is crucial to the species that they maintain access to their trails. Otherwise, the pronghorn will become extinct. For this reason, WCS is working to secure the Path of the Pronghorn.

Even National Geographic is emphasizing the importance of the species. They recently shared a video clip to Twitter. Along with the video they wrote, “Pronghorns have adapted to many changes but their migration route has stayed the same since prehistoric times.”

How Can We Protect the Path of the Pronghorn?

Currently, the pronghorn’s path to Grand Teton National Park is jeopardized. Large-scale energy development, increasing private land development, and imbalanced predator/prey relationships are cutting them off from their path. However, the WCS believes that they can ensure that the animals continue to make their migration. They have already implemented plans for research, outreach, and cooperative actions.

WCS is working on a study that will contribute to a plan to conserve the Path of the Pronghorn. In doing so, they hope to ensure the survival of the pronghorn species. Although details about the plan have not yet been released, the WCS emphasizes that they plan to do everything they can to preserve one of North America’s most historic species.