Friday, January 17, 2014

Relocation takes New Mexico pronghorn to Arizona

Dozens of biologists and wildlife managers from New Mexico and Arizona have been working to capture and relocate some 200 pronghorn that have been damaging cropland in northeastern New Mexico. Thursday marked the third day of the effort, a delicate dance that involves a helicopter, strategically placed fencing and volunteers on foot who help push the anxious animals toward a corral covered with tarps. The first group to be captured was bold, said Rachel Shockley, a spokeswoman with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. The group's leader, a female, kept testing the fences and the line of approaching volunteers. The other pronghorns followed her lead. More than three dozen of the animals rounded up earlier this week were taken to Arizona and released as part of a trade that will allow that state to start rebuilding its dwindling pronghorn herds. In return, New Mexico will get 60 Gould's turkeys from Arizona in the next two to three years. In New Mexico, managers have relocated about 75 of the pronghorn from the Cimarron area to a location near Fort Stanton. On Thursday, they were working to trap and deliver another 75 to the Macho area northwest of Roswell. Thanks to habitat improvements, officials said the Macho area has the potential to allow pronghorn to range over 1 million acres. After being corralled, all of the pronghorn were blindfolded while biologists took blood and gave them antibiotics and sedatives to help calm them. Some that showed spikes in their temperatures were bathed in ice...more

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