27 January 2011 Pronghorn Passing Through Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 2 comments | Share: Each year more than 3,000 pronghorn and mule deer travel from their winter range in the Green River Basin and summer range in the surrounding valleys and foothills – twice. (This includes members of the Teton pronghorn herd, who undertake the longest known land animal migration in the continental U.S. when they move 170 miles to summer in Grand Teton National Park.) Fortunately, now they’ll get some help with the hike! The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently announced a $9.7 million effort to build a series of wildlife crossing structures to protect the four-legged travelers. The project, dubbed “Path of the Pronghorn,” is located on Highway 191 west of Pinedale, and includes two overpasses on a 12-mile section of US 191 from the Trappers Point area. Engineer John Eddins of Rock Springs says on average 100 big game animals are hit on this particular roadway each year. And according to High Country News’ Emilene Ostlind, “Often, the still lump of a pronghorn carcass lies on the shoulder of the highway.” Sadly, they are among an estimated 1.5 million animals – and 26,000 people – involved in wildlife-vehicle collision across the U.S. annually. Although large species like elk and moose have been known to use underpasses (as seen here), antelope are reluctant to pass beneath busy roads. They rely on their eyesight to keep them safe, and tend to avoid the often dark passageways. So while the underpasses will transport deer safely across the highway, the overpasses proposed at Trappers Point were designed with pronghorn in mind. Learn more: Earlier this week, Defenders’ expert Trisha White joined host June Stoyer to discuss the dangers of what happens when habitats and highways collide on The Organic View. Click here to download the interview! Read our “Top 10 Tips for Drivers“ to see how YOU can reduce your risk of getting in an accident with wildlife. 2 Responses to “Pronghorn Passing Through” Wende Anne January 28th, 2011 It’s wonderful to have something to celebrate amongst all the bad stuff. Thank you. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?