"Pronghorn Passage" Program To Be Presented Thursday at Grand Teton National Park

Head to Grand Teton National Park this Thursday to learn more about one of the greatest wildlife migrations outside of Alaska. Photo by Joe Riis.

Last week we told you about the efforts being undertaken to protect a critical migratory corridor in southwestern Wyoming for pronghorn antelope. If you're in the Jackson area later this week, you can sit in on a program that explores the 300-plus-mile migration of antelope in this region.

The multi-media presentation, Pronghorn Passage, will be presented at noon Thursday at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. The event is being sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association and Grand Teton National Park and is being presented by the Wyoming Humanities Council as part of the 2010 Humanities Forum. Admission is free and open to the public.

Pronghorn Passage is a collaborative project between two University of Wyoming alumni—wildlife photographer Joe Riis and environmental writer Emilene Ostlind. During the course of two years the two traveled the migration corridor of the Teton pronghorn herd to capture this unique journey in pictures and words. The upcoming presentation will include maps, video clips, and still photographs documenting the migration. You can learn more about this project at www.pronghornpassage.com.

Each autumn pronghorn that summer in Grand Teton gather into bunches of a half-dozen to 50 or more animals and head south through the Gros Ventre Mountains. The pronghorn end up in the northern reaches of the Red Desert as much as 170 miles from where they started. This unique journey is the second longest overland mammal migration in the western hemisphere (after caribou in Alaska), according to Grand Teton officials. An archeological site at Trapper’s Point (a rendezvous location near the intersection of the Green River and Highway 191) revealed 6,000-year-old pronghorn skeletons, indicating that pronghorn have seasonally followed this exact migration for thousands of years, they add.

In Grand Teton the winters are too harsh and the snow gets too deep for pronghorn to survive year round. Continued presence of antelope in the park depends on keeping the corridor open, park officials say. Pronghorn Passage describes the challenges the antelope face in their migration.

Comments

Any idea where that wonderful photo of pronghorn fording a river was taken? Fascinating . . .