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2003

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Goat Rock Goat Watching & Pronghorn Antelope - Part 2
Go To Part 1
Saturday June 7th, 2003

 

PHOTO SLIDESHOW 2
There are 10 photos in the slideshow at right. Download times vary from 2-3 seconds for high-speed connections, and 2-3 minutes for dial-up. Enjoy the whole show (which will load and play automatically) OR use the quick links at right to view and print individual slides (just use the BACK button on your web browser to return to this page when you are done with each slide).

LOOK AT: Photo Slideshow 1

*Slide 1: Upper Sawtooth Valley
*Slide 2
: Discussing Pronghorns
*Slide 3
: Pronghorns Near Pettit
*Slide 4
: Harmful Sheep Fence
*Slide 5
: Harmful Barb Wire Fence
*Slide 6: Open Gate on Bad Fence
*Slide 7
: Hwy 75 & Bad Fences
*Slide 8
: Pronghorn in Sage Habitat
*Slide 9
: New Barrier to Wildlife
*Slide 10
: Mesh Fence Removal

Pronghorn Antelope – Species Antilocarpa americana, Artiodactyla Family.

We learned that pronghorn migrate through the White Cloud Mountains in April from their winter range in the East Fork Salmon River. By April, some south slopes in the Sawtooth Valley are showing bare ground. Pronghorns can be seen along Highway 75 from below Galena Pass to Lower Stanley.  Their numbers fluctuate from a low of about 30 to as many as about 65. The East Fork traditional summer range has been utilized to a much lesser extent over the past 10 to 15 years since this herd has rediscovered the lush Sawtooth Valley summer range.

Fawns, born in mid-June will increase the pronghorn numbers. Cover and concealment are key to antelope fawn survival, as coyotes are effective predators on the vulnerable very young fawns. We saw several pronghorn bucks near Pettit Lake road. Pronghorn bucks and most does have horns, but interestingly, about 30 percent of the females do not have horns.

Fences & Pronghorns - A serious threat to pronghorns are FENCES. Pronghorn go under rather than over fences. Barbwire fences in pronghorn habitat should have a smooth bottom wire, which should be 18 inches from the ground - so that pronghorns can pass safely and also not snag their hair on wire barbs. We observed miles of fences on public and private land, which do not meet these criteria. Also, many old “sheepwire” (mesh) fences that antelope cannot go through and in which they sometimes get entangled still exist on their prime summer range.

Harmful barbed and mesh fences along the Highway 75 corridor sometimes cause pronghorn to become trapped (the valley’s largest buck was struck by a vehicle just a few days before our visit.) Pronghorn do learn where gates are open, but once cattle are turned out on summer pasture, these gates are closed. Replacement of harmful fences has been slow to occur on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, but in late June, a crew was observed removing a short section of mesh fence near Pettit Lake road. Considerable work needs to be completed yet to insure safe travel for these beautiful, swift and fascinating animals in the Sawtooth Valley.

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