Pronghorn Movement and Enhancement (Fence Trials)

Having evolved on the wide-open prairies of North America, pronghorn did not develop an instinct to jump vertical obstacles. The proliferation of fencing that followed cattle ranching since the 1880’s now 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 and in some cases strips hair off their back, causing lacerations and making them vulnerable to infection and frostbite. We evaluated fence modifications proposed for sage-grouse and ungulates and the potential impact these modifications might have on pronghorn and deer fence crossing success. We determined that sage-grouse reflectors and white polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe on the top wire do not act as visual barriers and therefore do not impact the movement across fences by pronghorn, mule deer, or white-tailed deer. We also determined that when successfully crossing a fence, all three ungulates did so by predominately crawling under the bottom wire. As results become available, we will disseminate our conclusions to stakeholders, wildlife managers, and conservation groups.


Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Fish & Game Association, Bushnell, Cabelas Canada, Canadian Forces Base Suffield, Montana Department of Transportation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Safari Club International – Northern Alberta Chapter (Hunting Heritage Fund), TD Friends of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, University of Montana, World Wildlife Fund

Annual Summaries

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Title Year Category
Pronghorn Movement and Enhancement (Fence Trials) 2017-2018 2
Pronghorn Movement and Enhancement (Fence Trials) 2018-2019 2