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  • County efforts helping pronghorn antelope

    Dec 23, 2015 | Read More News
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    Nearly two dozen pronghorn antelope captured in New Mexico and other pronghorns from the Prescott area released in Sonoita and Elgin are saving a local herd of pronghorn antelope at risk of dying out, thanks to efforts by Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation, by Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Antelope Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and several other conservation partners.
     
    The county worked with the partners in the initial stages when grant proposals to augment the herd were being developed, said Kerry Baldwin, Natural Resources division manager. Specifically, the county offered an in-kind match up to $500,000 for several different aspects of the project and grant proposals related to the project. This video, produced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, details the antelope project.

    “We were able to capitalize with the primary grant funders to utilize part of our previous conservation acquisition of the Clyne Ranch as the in-kind. That match helped get the real dollars needed on the ground. Our county conservation lands will also provide additional habitat for a hopefully expanding pronghorn herd,” Baldwin said.

    The Sands and Clyne Ranches – purchased by the county in 2009 with 2004 and 1997 General Obligation bonds -- are on the eastern edge of the Sonoita Basin and include mixed habitats of rolling plain grasslands, low agave ridges, semi-desert grassland vegetation. The purchases were made as part of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and total over 5,880 acres. Although Pima County purchased the ranches, their previous owners continue to be stewards of the land under formal Ranch Management Agreements.
    Baldwin said the county also assisted in the antelope conservation efforts with the in-kind match for a grant that enabled youth to do antelope-friendly livestock fence modifications on more than 26 miles as summer conservation projects.

    “With the fence modifications and expanded numbers, we are hoping that some of the pronghorns will move just a few miles further east through good habitat onto the county Sands and Clyne Ranches. The Arizona Antelope Foundation and Arizona Game and Fish Department deserve special recognition for making this successful conservation effort a reality,” Baldwin said.

    Other funding partners on the effort include the Safari Club International, Arizona Deer Association, Mule Deer Foundation and the Cochise County Community Foundation.

    (Photo “Antilocapra americana male (Wyoming, 2012)" by Yathin S Krishnappa)

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