NEW MAPS REVEAL MIGRATION ROUTES ACROSS THE WEST
For the first time, state and federal wildlife biologists across the American West have come together to map the migrations of mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bison. The team produced maps of more than 40 big-game corridors in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
This collaborative effort is a huge milestone in wildlife migration research. On a global perspective, the U.S. is the first country to have produced these kinds of standardized migration maps for ungulates (hooved animals) across species and jurisdictions, and to archive them all in one place.
You can read the full USGS report Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States: Volume 1 and interact with and download the migrations on the www.WesternMigrations.net web viewer. Here at the University of Wyoming we are humbled to have contributed to this ongoing multi-state and inter-agency effort.
Many western states including Wyoming have been collecting wildlife movement data for decades and in 2018, these states and the USGS jointly created a Corridor Mapping Team to analyze all this data across the region at fine scale. The Wyoming Migration Initiative is just one of the dozens of collaborators on this project.
With coordination from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, agency biologists from Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming as well as biologists from the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, and others all worked together in order to produce migration maps for the five big-game species.