A drama of migration and survival seasonally unfolds across the Northern Great Plains highlighting the importance of keeping critical landscapes connected
Bozeman, Mont. — Herds of pronghorn have long roamed the North American West, without barriers or boundaries. Today, however, the landscape and climate are dramatically changed, testing the limits of pronghorns’ ability to move freely, which they need to survive and thrive. A team of partners working to reconnect and restore the pronghorns’ ancient routes has created a media-rich, interactive StoryMap, On the Move, to highlight this iconic and timeless migration that is increasingly threatened by roads, fences, railroads and habitat conversion.
“The genesis of this project was that through their annual migration, pronghorn demonstrate how everything is acutely connected — people, water and wildlife — to the landscape,” said Andrew Jakes, wildlife biologist for the National Wildlife Federation. “If we can grasp the vast scope of the pronghorns’ journey across the seasons, and the many challenges they face, then we can adapt and advance toward a holistic approach and promising frontier in wildlife conservation.”
On the Move follows a year in the life of a pronghorn doe living on the northern edge of the species range. To return to seasonal ranges—to reproduce, successfully rear her young and to survive—she must move deliberately across vast distances, often hundreds of miles, each year. That migration relies on a long swath of open and connected habitat. But today, changes on the land are imperiling these ancient migrations. On the Move translates the eye-opening data provided by recent technology, to identify these challenges and offer ways to reduce them.
“It’s not too late to secure these ancient pathways. With the cooperation of landowners, scientists, agencies and conservation organizations, a future for these beautiful animals can be assured,” says Nature Conservancy Range Ecologist Kelsey Molloy.
Discover the journey: On the Move is a timely addition to a national conversation about landscape connectivity and the next frontier for the conservation community.
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