Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sonoran Pronghorns Coming to AZ? I hope so!

From the Associate Press (Bob Christie):
"PHOENIX — Federal wildlife officials plan to move a handful of endangered Sonoran pronghorns to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in western Arizona next winter in hopes of establishing a new population of the rare animals.
The proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is part of an effort to bring back a thriving population of the antelope-like creature. Only about 70 to 90 of the animals now live in the wild in the U.S., mostly in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge about 130 miles west of Tucson and the adjacent Barry M. Goldwater Range and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Another 40 or so are in a captive breeding program, and about 400 live in northern Mexico."

After the Macho B fiasco, you have to wonder why U.S. Fish and Game would trust AZ Fish and Game with the care of another endangered species, but Sonoran pronghorn are beautiful and fascinating and it would be great to see them out out here. It sounds like border activity by immigrants, smugglers, and Border Patrol threatens to upset their breeding habits, which should make many AZ residents happy because they'll have another reason to complain about illegal immigration, which is something they love to do.

All kidding aside, the reintroduction of Sonoran pronghorn and recent efforts to preserve Mexican wolves demonstrate public interest in preserving endangered species. The death of Macho B the jaguar was certainly a step backwards, but it's heartening to read about the pronghorn reintroduction and let's keep our fingers crossed that it goes well.

More information available here and here.

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