Pronghorn Resource Enhancement and Monitoring

Having evolved on the prairies of North America, pronghorn didn't develop an instinct to jump vertical obstacles. The proliferation of fencing that followed cattle ranching into Alberta poses a serious barrier to pronghorn movement. Pronghorn may cross under fence lines in some locations, but it slows down their movement, making them susceptible to predators. In some cases this strips hair off their back, causing lacerations and making them vulnerable to infection and frostbite. In winter 2013/14, we used clips (quick-links or carabiners) to raise the bottom wire on some fence lines by clipping it to the wire above it. We used 46 trail cameras to record attempted crossings by pronghorn before and after treatment to determine whether this enhancement improved the permeability of fence lines for pronghorn. Our work in 2014/15 focused on processing the preceding winter’s trail camera images. Based on our preliminary analysis, evidence of preferential crossings by pronghorn at treatment locations is weak thus far, but the acceptance of modified crossing locations may be a learned behaviour that develops over time with visual cues. In 2014/15, we also started trials to assess whether fences modified with double-stranded smooth wire facilitates pronghorn movement. As results become available, we will disseminate information to stakeholders, wildlife managers and conservation groups to enhance efforts to restore movement patterns relied on by pronghorn for thousands of years.

Partnerships

Alberta Fish & Game Association, Bushnell, Cabela’s Canada, Canadian Forces Base Suffield, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Onefour Research Station, Safari Club International – Northern Alberta Chapter (Hunting Heritage Fund), TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, University of Montana, World Wildlife Fund

Annual Summaries

We are working hard to upload all past summaries. If there is a report you would like to see that isn't presently here, please email info@ab-conservation.com

Title Year Category
Pronghorn Resource Enhancement and Monitoring 2015 2
Pronghorn Resource Enhancement and Monitoring 2016 2