Nespelem, WA Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife staff
will travel to Nevada in January to assist with capture efforts
of up to 100 pronghorn antelope, intended to be released near the
Tumwater Basin and White Lakes Mitigation Areas, on the southwest
corner of the Colville Indian Reservation.
"Our staff will work with the Nevada Department of Wildlife,"
said Richard Whitney, wildlife manager. "We will utilize an aerial
capture company from Nevada to roundup and corral the pronghorn
groups into a capture area. From there, the ground crews will move
them to a processing area."
Once captured, each animal will receive shots, receive veterinarian
check-ups, have blood drawn for disease testing and get GPS-collars
attached for monitoring purposes.
After they are processed, the pronghorn will be loaded into
Wildlife officials say the release should happen within 24 hours
after being captured.
The Colville Tribal Wildlife Mitigation Project purchased the
Wildlife Management Areas where the animals will be released.
Often confused with its cousin the springbok, the pronghorn
has evolved interlocking joints that make it unable to jump.
However, this same evolutionary adaptation has made it an
extremely efficient runner. The pronghorn can consume between
six to 10 liters of oxygen per minute, which is five times
faster than most mammals its size. This in turn allows them
to burn more oxygen and reach tops speeds of 55 mph.
"There is enough native habitat on the plateau to support them,"
said Whitney. "We chose to move forward with the reintroduction
at this time since a primary goal of the wildlife program is to
restore native and desired non-native species to the Colville Reservation.
Pronghorn are a native species to the homelands of our people. Since
they have been extirpated from Wash., our tribal members have had
to go to other states in order to utilize these animals for subsistence."
A release from CTFW, distributed today, Dec. 14, states, "These
parcels of land were purchased using funding supplied by Bonneville
Power Administration to offset a portion of their wildlife mitigation
obligation for Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph hydropower projects."
According to the release, "Wildlife staff have protected these
lands from livestock, conducted planting and seeding efforts, removed
unneeded fencing and made existing fencing more wildlife friendly
by removing the bottom wire and using smooth wire so pronghorn can
go under fences without injury."
CBC approved the reintroduction of antelope in early 2015.