Laramie, Wyo. – This past winter has been one of the harshest on record for the state in terms of snow fall and length of time snow has remained on the ground And biologists say that has delayed migration of pronghorn back to their summer range in Jackson Hole.
Jon Beckmann is a biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. He says typically, pronghorn follow the receding snow line from their winter grounds back to the summer range.
"So with the snow being on the ground long this particular winter, we're seeing that migration being shifted back up to about a month, compared to other years that we've been looking at some of these migrations of pronghorn in Wyoming," says Beckmann.
Beckmann says that the delayed migration could have an affect on the heard since fawning season typically happens through the month of June when the pronghorn have made it to the Jackson Hole area. And according to data collected from Grand Teton National Forest and the Wyoming Game and Fish department, only 60 percent of the herd have made it back to the summer range. While the remainder have become caught in the transitional stage between summer and winter grounds, which Beckmann says brings into question whether those fawns born in transition will survive.