Federal wildlife biologist Mike Coffeen has been making efforts to save North America’s fastest mammal, the endangered Sonoran pronghorn and his efforts are succeeding beyond expectations.
There was a time when the deer like animal’s population was pushing to the verge of extinction and now the number has risen back above 100.
Eighteen fawns have born within the past three months in a square-mile captivating breeding enclosure within the sprawling national refuge in southern Arizona.
In 2002 there was a lack of water and forage due to which the Arizona pronghorn population crashed from nearly 140 to estimated 12.
Coffeen started his efforts to save the pronghorn for which first of all breeding program was started at southeastern Oregon’s Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. The pronghorns were put into pen surrounded by two electrified fences intended to discourage coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats.
During the dry times animals are supplied with water and they get supplements (alfalfa, hay and a zoo pellet mix) too.
At present the pen holds 43 animals, including the fawns, their mothers, adult bucks and several yearlings. In December there were around 74 and since then dozens wild-born fawns have been sighted.
No doubt Mike Coffeen’s efforts are proving successful but Janny Neeley, a spokeswoman for the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife says that the main concern is that there is no enough suitable habitat to support a sustainable population.
Despite the rebound, the challenge remains; there is ongoing drought that could cause the population of pronghorn to decline.
It is said that the captive-born fawns should be kept at least one more year so that they become stronger and more mature before they are released.
Source: Discovery News