US Partners With Mexico To Protect Endangered Sonoran Pronghorn

By Lou Gum
Published: Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 7:00am
Updated: Monday, December 26, 2016 - 1:57pm
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(Photo courtesy of National Park Service)
Sonoran pronghorn.

Sonoran pronghorn were one of the first species listed as endangered in the United States. They only live in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and Northern Sonora Mexico. The distribution of the species has made efforts to protect and recover pronghorn populations challenging — until now.

A 1998 U.S. Fish and Wildlife plan laid the groundwork for Sonoran Pronghorn recovery but it only covered a portion of the known Sonoran pronghorn population — those north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

That changed this week with the first-ever revision to the 1998 recovery plan. With Mexico now an official partner, recovery efforts extend to the entire pronghorn population.

Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery Coordinator Jim Atkinson said the partnership is a first for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and should help recovery.

"Because preserving those populations and giving them some leverage to enact some conservation measures down there, which the recovery plan does, is important to the entity of the Sonoran pronghorn," said Atkinson.

If both countries meet their shared goals, the revised plan also includes a provision to delist the pronghorn as an endangered species. Atkinson said that could happen by 2036.

Sonoran Pronghorn Release In Arizona

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