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May 19, 2023

Collaborations across State, Tribal, and Federal organizations help to enhance habitat quality for western ungulate herds.

Understanding the location and movement of ungulate herds in the western U.S. is important in enhancing habitat quality. In 2018, the USGS established the Corridor Mapping Team (CMT). This team is a collaborative effort between USGS and regional State, Tribal and Federal wildlife management agencies that works to map migration corridors and winter ranges for ungulate herds across the western United States, including bison, elk, moose, mule deer, and pronghorn. The USGS provides technical help, map archiving, and cartography to support the effort. State and Tribal collaborators leverage existing GPS data from past studies to map migrations and bring additional technical expertise.  

Each year, the CMT publishes the Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States report series. This series makes the migration maps accessible to everyone. The series includes maps and migration details of all included herds, 182 herds in total.  

The map layers for most of the herds included in the report series are available on USGS ScienceBase:  

Many organizations use the map layers. For example, the National Renewable Lab is using these layers to determine tradeoffs for wind and solar development. The National Park Service (NPS) is also using these data. NPS is creating an internal application to identify priority areas for wildlife crossing structures to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

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