The Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) population in the United States declined to ≤33 animals in January 2003. Low population numbers and unstable recruitment are concerns for biologists managing this subspecies. We examined habitat use by pronghorn from 1999 to 2002 on a portion of the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR) used for military exercises. We overlaid locations of pronghorn (n=1,203) on 377 1-km2 blocks within the North (NTAC) and South Tactical Ranges (STAC), BMGR; we classified vegetation associations and disturbance status (e.g., airfields, targets, roads) for each block. Locations of pronghorn were distributed in proportion to vegetation associations on NTAC and STAC. Sightings of pronghorns were biased toward disturbed blocks, with 73% of locations of pronghorn occurring in proximity to mock airfields, high-explosive hills (e.g., targets for live high-explosive bombs and rockets), other targets, and roads. Disturbed landscapes on the BMGR may attract Sonoran pronghorn by creating favorable forage. Habitat manipulations simulating the effects of military disturbances on the landscape (e.g., improved forage) may improve remaining Sonoran pronghorn habitat.
Antilocapra americana sonoriensis
Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range