Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wyoming
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wyoming Project

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Mule Deer Project

July 2015 - July 2020


Participating Agencies

  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department
  • Muley Fanatic Foundation
  • Private donors
  • Wyoming Wildlife Foundation
  • BLM

Increasingly, scientists and wildlife managers are recognizing that the productivity of western herds of mule deer depend on their ability to migrate seasonally across vast expanses of public and private lands. Mule deer are especially important to the ecology and economy of northwest Wyoming, part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Along the eastern front of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, mule deer herds migrate from higher elevations in summer to lower elevation wintering habitats. Although a comprehensive map of the elk migrations of the GYE is soon to be completed, mule deer migration corridors have never been mapped comprehensively. By studying the movements and nutritional ecology of five EGYE herds over two years, we will provide essential information to our state partners (Wyoming Game and Fish Department) to manage these herds through identifying crucial habitats - including migration corridors, stop‐over sites, parturition areas, and winter concentration areas - for conservation and improvement projects.