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Ungulate migrations of the Western United States, volume 4

April 11, 2024

Broadly distributed across the Western United States, ungulates (hooved mammals) play an important role in ecosystem function by affecting vegetation communities and forming the prey base for large carnivores. Additionally, ungulates provide economic benefits to regional communities through tourism and hunting and hold cultural significance for many Tribal communities. Many ungulates migrate seasonally between distinct summer and winter ranges to take advantage of spatially and temporally variable food sources and avoid threats such as predators and deep snow. Increasingly, these migrations are threatened by the growing human footprint and associated subdivisions, energy development, and increased traffic volume. Efforts to study ungulate populations and conserve their migrations received support in recent years from the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretarial Order No. 3362, which provided Federal support for enhancing habitat quality for ungulates across the Western States. In response to Secretarial Order No. 3362, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established the Corridor Mapping Team, a collaboration among USGS and participating State and Federal wildlife management agencies and numerous Tribal Nations. Together, the Corridor Mapping Team maps ungulate migrations throughout the Western United States in the USGS “Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States” report series. This report (volume 4) details migrations and seasonal ranges from 31 new herds throughout nine Western States. Additionally, this report includes updates to two herds published in previous reports. Including this report, the report series has provided the mapped migrations and seasonal ranges of 182 unique herds and has provided a map-based inventory of the documented ungulate migrations across the Western United States for biologists, managers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners. This report also discusses how the mapping efforts associated with the Corridor Mapping Team can be used to guide management and policy regarding renewable energy development and ungulate disease, specifically chronic wasting disease, in the Western United States.

Publication Year 2024
Title Ungulate migrations of the Western United States, volume 4
DOI 10.3133/sir20245006
Authors Matthew Kauffman, Blake Lowrey, Chloe Beaupre, Scott Bergen, Stefanie Bergh, Kevin Blecha, Samantha Bundick, Hunter Burkett, James W. Cain III, Peyton Carl, David Casady, Corey Class, Alyson Courtemanch, Michelle Cowardin, Jennifer Diamond, Katie Dugger, Orrin Duvuvuei, Joanna R. Ennis, Michelle Flenner, Jessica Fort, Gary Fralick, Ian Freeman, Jeff Gagnon, David Garcelon, Kyle Garrison, Emily Gelzer, Evan Greenspan, Valerie Hinojoza-Rood, Pat Hnilicka, Andy Holland, Brian Hudgens, Bart Kroger, Art Lawson, Cody McKee, Jennifer L. McKee, Jerod Merkle, Tony W. Mong, Haley Nelson, Brendan Oates, Marie-Pier Poulin, Craig Reddell, Robert Ritson, Hall Sawyer, Cody Schroeder, Jessie Shapiro, Scott Sprague, Erik Steiner, Alethea Steingisser, Sam Stephens, Blair Stringham, Patrick Ryan Swazo-Hinds, Nicole Tatman, Cody F. Wallace, Don Whittaker, Benjamin Wise, Heiko U. Wittmer, Erin Wood
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2024-5006
Index ID sir20245006
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle; Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center