Pronghorn Antelope

Antilocapra americana

The pronghorn is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae.

Though not an antelope, it is often known in North America as the prong buck, pronghorn antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World.

Pronghorns form mixed-sex herds in the winter. In early spring, the herds break up, with young males forming bachelor groups, females forming their groups, and adult males living solitarily. Some female bands share the same summer range, and bachelor male bands form between spring and fall.

Females form dominance hierarchies with few circular relationships. Dominant females aggressively displace other females from feeding sites.

At the turn of the century members of the wildlife conservation group, Boone and Crockett Club, had determined that extinction of the pronghorn was more of a probability than a possibility.

Pronghorn migration corridors are threatened by habitat fragmentation and the blocking of traditional routes. In a migration study conducted by Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation and the Wildlife Conservation Society, at one point the migration corridor bottlenecks to an area only 200 yards wide.

Despite their plight, the protection of habitat and hunting restrictions have allowed pronghorns to become quite numerous. Until just recently, they outnumbered people in Wyoming and parts of northern Colorado.

No major range-wide threats exist, although localized declines are taking place, mainly as a result of, livestock grazing, the construction of roads, fences, and other barriers that prevent access to habitat.