Animals

New Maps Document Big-Game Migrations Across the Western United States

For the first time, state and federal wildlife biologists have come together to map the migrations of ungulates across America’s West.

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The maps will help land managers and conservationists pinpoint actions necessary to keep migration routes open and functional to sustain healthy big-game populations.

"This new detailed assessment of migration routes, timing and interaction of individual animals and herds has given us an insightful view of the critical factors necessary for protecting wildlife and our citizens,” said USGS Director Jim Reilly. The new study, Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States: Volume 1, includes maps of more than 40 big-game migration routes in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

“I’m really proud of the team that worked across multiple agencies to transform millions of GPS locations into standardized migration maps,” said Matt Kauffman, lead author of the report and director of the USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. “Many ungulate herds have been following the same paths across western landscapes since before the United States existed, so these maps are long overdue.”

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