Pronghorn Antelopes

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About Pronghorn Antelopes

One easily forgets that there are any antelopes in North America (thinking of them as an animal strictly found in Africa). But the Pronghorn Antelope is one of the most graceful and beautiful animals that you will ever see. The Pronghorn is the fastest North American land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The pronghorn's speed is its main defense against predators.

Even more amazing than its speed is the pronghorn’s migration. Herds of pronghorns migrate 150 miles each way between Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin and Grand Teton National Park. The only other land animal to travel farther in North America is the caribou. The 300 mile trip is grueling and requires crossing private property and fences. In the past, pronghorns had to worry about predators and cold weather. Today, the bigger threats are cars, impassable fences and development.


Where to See Pronghorn Antelopes

Pronghorns are only found in North America. Their natural range extended from southern Canada to northern Mexico. Some of the highest numbers of pronghorn are in Wyoming in the Red Desert and Yellowstone ecosystems. See below for the best locations.

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Pronghorn Antelope in Yellowstone


Yellowstone National Park

The best place to see Pronghorn Antelopes is Yellowstone National Park. Unlike the Bison and the Elk, they are still hard to find in Yellowstone. But look for them near the North Entrance, along the Sagebrush Flats. This is where I got the photos. -- William S. Howard


In Yellowstone National Park, there are over 5000 pronghorn antelope. Pronghorn are found mainly in the Northern section of the park. One of the best places is the one-way dirt road that runs from Mammoth Hot Spring to Gardnier. There are almost always some at the Northeast entrance station near Gardnier. Also look for them on the road between Mammoth Hot Spring and Tower Jct and in the Lamar Valley area. See Yellowstone.net


Pronghorns are almost always found in open grassy plains and are fairly easy to spot. Traveling in groups of 3 to 10 they graze along slowly but every now and then they go tearing around the valley for no apparent reason other than the fun of seeing how fast they can go.

The chances of seeing Pronghorns in Yellowstone are very good if you try. I have seen them often in the plains from Idaho Falls to the west entrance of the park. They can also be found in the hills behind Mammoth Hot Springs, along Rescue Creek Trail, and through out Little America, but the most reliable place I have seen them is in the Lamar Valley. Look all along the bottom of the valley for small herds of the white and brown ungulates but don't be surprised if they are right up next to the road. The babies are born in June and are very small and playful.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

In summer, groups of up to 7-10 pronghorns can be easily viewed in the meadows between the Visitors' Center and Fairview Point. They are accustomed to cars and people, and as a result are easily photographed. Unfortunately, they are still shedding their winter coats even in June and are not as photogenic as they might be later in the summer.


Pronghorn Antelope

Red Desert, Wyoming

The Red Desert of southern Wyoming is one of the last high-desert ecosystems in North America. Its varied landscape of buttes, dunes, sagebrush steppe, mountains and rocky pinnacles is home to some of the continents most hidden treasures:

- The largest living dune system in the United States
- The largest migratory herd of pronghorn in the lower 48 states (50,000 pronghorn)
- The world's largest herd of desert elk

The Red Desert is home to 350 species of wildlife and many more plant species that have adapted to its harsh conditions. The world's largest herd of desert elk, 50,000 pronghorn antelope, and rare plant and bird species can all be found there. Most of the Red Desert is actually sagebrush steppe--habitat for pronghorn, elk and pygmy rabbit.


Montana

Bison roam free on the 18,500-acre National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge , 45 miles north of Missoula. These 2,000-pound animals graze on mountain prairie grasses with other ungulates such as elk, white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorns and bighorn sheep. Visitors often see black bears and coyotes; a look overhead reveals eagles, hawks and other birds. -- Jean Arthur


Colorado

In northwest Colorado, far from the bustle of city streets, the rush of the freeway and the star-competing light of city nights sits the remote Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Here, you'll encounter a series of ponds and wet meadows along the Green River—perfect habitats for waterfowl and migratory songbirds. The area also features steep rocky slopes and sedimentary benches along the river. Check in at the visitor center for specific viewing opportunities. What you’ll see: mule deer, moose, coyotes, beavers, muskrats and pronghorn antelope can also been seen throughout the area. There are signs along Highway 318 marking the east and west ends of this refuge.


Photos

Click on any photo to enlarge...

Links

National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge

Yellowstone.net