Sonoran Pronghorn Return to Arizona’s King Valley
For the first time in over 100 years, Sonoran pronghorn are residing in King Valley on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona.
The Sonoran pronghorn have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1967, and the United States population was on the brink of extinction in 2002 due to habitat fragmentation, human disturbance, loss of forage and perennial rivers, and periods of extreme drought.
In early 2011 construction was approved for a 0.5 square mile captive breeding and release facility in King Valley, a location historically occupied by the species, to establish a population, expand its range, and bolster pronghorn numbers. The new breeding facility in King Valley was completed in December and the transfer of animals from a captive breeding facility on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge took place on Dec. 15.
Twelve pronghorn (two bucks and ten does) are currently residing in the pen and being monitored by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. By 2013, it is anticipated that the two-year-old offspring will be released from the facility into suitable adjacent habitat.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to remind visitors to King Valley that the captive breeding pen and a 1/4 mile area surrounding the captive breeding facility are posted and closed to public access for the safety of the animals.
For more information, please contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Yuma at (928) 342-0091 or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Yuma at (928) 783-7861.