Historically the Sonoran pronghorn home range included southeastern California and Baja, Arizona, and into Sonora Mexico. Numerous factors have shrunk their numbers and range to less than a hundred animals over the years. Housing encroachment, overgrazing of livestock, fencing, highways, drought, and overall loss of habitat are the main factors in their near extinction.

However, there is a sliver of hope for this species; the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGF) have partnered with Mexico for almost twenty years to try and bolster the numbers of these pronghorns in the two countries. In 2004 Mexico gave AZGF a few Sonoran pronghorn in the hopes that they could control their environment and help their odds of survival by putting them in a semi-captive location. They put the pronghorn in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Arizona. Through this controlled environment and successful breading over the years this program has allowed AZGF to release numerous pronghorn back into Arizona time and time again. The latest survey puts the numbers at around 456 in Arizona.

The agreement was once the herd in Arizona was sustainable that AZGF would provide pronghorn back to Mexico. In late December 2022, they completed their first transfer of six pronghorn to El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in Sonora Mexico. These pronghorn were GPS radio-collared and eventually released into the wild after they acclimated to their new environment.

You can read the full press release from AZGF here. Likewise, you can read more Arizona hunting news by clicking here.

So, What are your thoughts on this program? Have you ever helped out with something like this? Let us know in the comments!


Did you enjoy the Article? We would appreciate a Share!