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

Wyoming Project


I80 Pronghorn

November 2016 - June 2021


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Wyoming Department of Transportation
  • Knobloch Family Foundation
  • RMEF (Commissioner's Tag)
  • Wyoming Wildlife Foundation
  • State Legislative Match
  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Movement barriers challenge the ability of species to make long-distance movements such as migrations. Along southern Wyoming, pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations are severed by Interstate-80 (I-80), a nearly impermeable barrier to movement. The ecological consequences of this movement barrier has garnered interest in wildlife crossing structures to ameliorate this barrier effect to pronghorn and other wildlife. Our research utilizes a novel application of connectivity models to identify potential movement corridors across the I-80 barrier. This study is a collaborative effort with Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Analytical techniques will be used to model pronghorn movements across I-80 and to identify the locations that best facilitate movement, which we predict will be the optimal locations for a wildlife crossing structure. Our methods will have applied value both to managers in southern Wyoming, and in other systems where there is interest in how to restore movement across nearly impermeable barriers similar to I-80.