Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will put tracking devices on pronghorn antelope in order to identify migration patterns in southeast Oregon.
During the last week of September, wildlife biologists working with federal agencies will capture and attach radio collar tracking devices to 155 pronghorn antelope in order to learn more about the species and its migration patterns.
“We are using our state police aircraft to try to locate groups of pronghorn over a pretty large chunk of Oregon’s landscape,” ungulate species coordinator Don Whittaker said. “And once we figure them out, where they’re at and how many we have distributed around the country out there, we have a contractor coming in that’s going to capture pronghorn for us from a helicopter and deploy GPS radio collars on them.”
Oregon currently lacks data on pronghorn antelope and Whittaker said this project will provide important information to help identify critical corridors on the landscape.
“It will help us more clearly delineate what the seasonal ranges are for the species and how they move between those ranges and what their movement patterns are and what drives the movement pattern,” Whittaker said.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be working with a U.S. Interior Department program that aims to improve habitat quality in western big game winter range and migration corridors.
The timing of the project falls after the archery deer and elk seasons but before the rifle deer season starts on Sept. 28. Hunters should be aware that low-flying helicopters during this four-to five-day period are targeting pronghorn for capture.
Whittaker said he does not expect helicopters to have an impact on hunters who are scouting around the area.