Western Big Game Benefits from New Tracking Tool / Public News Service

A 2019 poll by the National Wildlife Federation found nearly 85% of respondents in New Mexico said they'd like to see increased efforts to safeguard wildlife corridors. (dog.gov)

A 2019 poll by the National Wildlife Federation found nearly 85% of respondents in New Mexico said they’d like to see increased efforts to safeguard wildlife corridors. (dog.gov)

December 2, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A new report published by the U.S. Geological Survey includes detailed maps of Global Positioning System tracked migration routes for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bison. The tracking tool will help stakeholders, from conservation groups to transportation agencies, understand how big-game species move across the landscape.

Jesse Deubel, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, said the new study maps more than 40 big-game migration routes to provide connectivity among multiple states.

“Wildlife doesn’t recognize state borders,” said Deubel. “So cross-jurisdictional collaboration when it comes to the management of wildlife, and when it comes to the protection of key wildlife corridors, is absolutely critical.”

A poll last year found more than eight in ten residents of New Mexico and Colorado support protecting wildlife migration routes.

Deubel said in the Gila region, all kinds of species are moving between New Mexico and Arizona – but it isn’t a seasonal migration. Instead, big-game animals are looking for water.

Forest fires, many due to climate change, also affect big game migration in New Mexico. That’s another important reason to maintain habitat connectivity, according to Nicole Tatman – big game program manager with the state’s Department of Game and Fish.

“Animals will move out of an area when a wildfire is occurring,” said Tatman. “But they’ll move back into that area after the fire has gone and maybe rains have come and brought up some green vegetation that they can take advantage of.”

In addition to wildfires, drought can make finding that green vegetation harder for big-game animals, according to Matthew Kauffman, wildlife researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Kauffman, the report’s lead author, said food is often absent along ancient migration corridors.

“Drought disrupts that ‘green wave,’ and makes it more difficult for animals to surf,” said Kauffman. “They still try, they do their best given the drought conditions, but they just can’t be in the right place at the right time.”

The new study builds on more than two decades of research by state wildlife agencies including GPS tracking-collar data, mapping migration routes in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM

Source Article

Read more

Sun Bowl 86-year streak ends, another Big Ten game off amid COVID-19


USA TODAY

Published 4:08 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2020 | Updated 7:04 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2020

CLOSE

USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.

USA TODAY

The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, played every year since Jan. 1, 1935, has been canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

KFOX14/CBS4 in El Paso, Texas, site of the game that was to pit the Pac-12 against the ACC, said it confirmed the news with the Sun Bowl Association. The Stadium first reported the cancellation of the nation’s second-longest-running bowl game.

Earlier this year, when the Pac-12 announced a return to the field, executive director Bernie Olivas said the bowl still planned on pitting a Pac-12 and ACC team.

The bowl schedule for the 2020 season started at 43 games with the College Football Playoff championship game included. Seven games have officially announced cancellations – Redbox, Hawaii, Bahamas, Holiday, Quick Lane, Pinstripe and Sun. Two games were moved – the New Mexico Bowl will be played in Frisco, Texas, and the inaugural Fenway Bowl scheduled for Boston has moved to Montgomery, Alabama. The status of the Las Vegas Bowl is uncertain. If that game is not played, it would mean four games with Pac-12 tie-ins have been called off.

There will not be an appearance by Tony the Tiger this football season with the Sun Bowl canceled. (Photo: Mark Lambie, USA TODAY Network)

More: Where the College Football Playoff stands after Week 13

Minnesota-Northwestern canceled 

The Big Ten is facing more challenges with COVID-19 after a weekend when two football games were canceled due to health concerns.

Minnesota announced Monday its game scheduled for Saturday against No. 17 Northwestern has been canceled and will be considered a no contest. The Gophers had last week’s game against Wisconsin shut down. It will be the first time since 1906 the border rivals will not play.

Minnesota said team activities remained paused after being halted Tuesday. The team’s next scheduled game is Dec. 12 at Nebraska.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our main priority,” Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “The last couple of days have shown a decrease in positive cases, but not to the point where we are able to return to competition. We are disappointed not to be able to compete against Northwestern on Saturday, but we need to continue to focus on following all CDC and MDH guidelines and slow the spread of the virus.”

Michigan-Maryland game in doubt

Michigan announced Monday its football program is pausing activities because of health concerns related to presumptive positive tests.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said the program has seen a rise in presumptive positive tests.

“That’s an increased number from zero,” Harbaugh said. “It was more than one. It was a few. So it was increased.”

Harbaugh declined to predict whether the Wolverines would play this Saturday against Maryland.

“This is day to day,” Harbaugh said. “When the results come

Read more

Big Ten power rankings: Conference’s College Football Playoff hopes are now slim

COVID-19 might be the only thing that can slow down Ohio State. For Northwestern, it was one-win Michigan State.

And just like that, the Big Ten’s playoff hopes may be close to vanishing.

It’s unclear when the Buckeyes will return to the field, and even though the eye test may say yes, their resume will be a few games short than others, at least. An unbeaten Wildcats’ team probably carries the conference’s flag into the CFP, but not after losing as a double-digit favorite to the Spartans.

On to this week’s rankings:

14. NEBRASKA (1-4)

The Cornhuskers hung in there against Iowa, even tied at halftime, but ultimately lost, 26-20. After the game, the storyline was Scott Frost complaining about Iowa’s sideline clapping to throw off his quarterbacks’ snap counts. Maybe what kept Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey out of rhythm was the constant rotation. Just a thought. After struggling during his time early, Martinez was 18 of 20 passing of 174 yards and also ran for a TD. (Last week: 13)

Up next: Nebraska at Purdue, 12 p.m. Saturday

College football: Michigan vs. Penn State – November 28, 2020

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field with defensive lineman Donovan Jeter (95) after Jeter was hurt on a play in the third quarter of their Big Ten football game against Penn State at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, November 28, 2020. Penn State won the game, 27-17. Michigan is now 2-4 on the season. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

13. MICHIGAN (2-4)

So much for momentum. So much for the Cade McNamara takeover at QB. The spark from the overtime Rutgers win already has burned out, as well as any life left in the season. McNamara was just 12 of 25 for 91 yards, and the tone of the game was set when Penn State marched right down the field for an opening touchdown. On the positive side, Hassan Haskins had 101 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. By the team’s body language, the other positive is that there is only a few weeks left in this season. (Last week: 12)

Up next: Michigan vs. Maryland, 3:30 p.m. Saturday

College football: Michigan vs. Penn State – November 28, 2020

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds (27) tackles Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) in the fourth quarter of their Big Ten football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, November 28, 2020. Penn State won the game, 27-17. Michigan is now 2-4 on the season. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

12. PENN STATE (1-5)

Sean Clifford didn’t throw a TD pass and only had 163 yards through the air, but the Nittany Lions QB was feeling good after the game. That tends to happen after facing the Michigan defense. Penn State got in the win column on the backs of its offensive line, and a running game that was sparked by freshman Kevyvone Lee (134 yards, 22 carries) and the running quarterbacks. Penn State’s RB room has been decimated by injury, and Lee was the team’s first

Read more

In Big 12 college football title race, not all losses count the same

Oklahoma State has had some heartbreaking Bedlam losses recently: 48-47 in 2018, 62-52 in 2017, overtime in 2012.

Clemson passes Ohio State in Amway Coaches Poll

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

The Cowboys also have had some let’s-get-this-over-with Bedlam losses: 41-13 a week ago, 58-23 in 2015, 27-0 in 2009.

Doesn’t really matter how you lose, they all count the same. Until they don’t.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

And they might not all count the same in 2020. In this crazy season, it might come down not just to whether you won or lost, but how many you lost by.



a football player running on a baseball field: Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson (29) stiff-arms Oklahoma State cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.


© Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson (29) stiff-arms Oklahoma State cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse during the first half at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

The Big 12 football race hits the homestretch, with just two Saturdays left before the championship game. Consider this scenario:

Oklahoma wins out to finish 7-2. The Sooners will be a big favorite at home over Baylor and solid favorites at West Virginia.

Oklahoma State wins out to finish 7-2. The Cowboys will be solid favorites at TCU and at Baylor.

West Virginia wins at Iowa State. Not likely, but possible. The Mountaineers are playing much better.

Texas loses at Kansas State. Not likely, but possible. Longhorns offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, a projected first-round draft pick, has left the team to concentrate on the NFL draft.

If those events happen, the Big 12 title game participants will be determined by margin of victory.

We would have a three-way tie for first among Oklahoma, Ohio State and Iowa State at 7-2, and each would be 1-1 against the other tied teams.

We would have a three-way tie for fourth among West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas, and the first-place teams would each be 2-1 against the fourth-place teams, which is the next criteria.

TAKING STOCK: Where the College Football Playoff stands after Week 13

RE-RANK: Alabama, Notre Dame the clear top two in NCAA 1-127 ranking

MISERY INDEX: Texas hasn’t come close to reaching potential under HermanAll three

first-place teams would have beaten the seventh-, eighth-, ninth- and 10th-place teams.

Which brings us down to point differential. Iowa State beat OU 37-30, OSU beat Iowa State 24-21 and OU beat OSU 41-13. So the Sooners would be plus-21, the Cyclones plus-four and the Cowboys minus-25.

Setting up an OU-Iowa State title game.

The message is clear in college football. Never take your foot off the gas. Run up the score as much as possible.

I don’t like margin-of-victory criteria any more than you do, but I don’t have an easy answer for the Big 12. Round-robin schedule, top two teams play for the title? Unbreakable three-way ties are bound to arise once a decade or so.

The Big 12 twice had memorable three-way ties in the divisional days and relied on the Bowl Championship Series records to break the

Read more

Why Big 12 football title contenders need to keep making their points

Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman
Published 2:24 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2020 | Updated 2:24 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2020

CLOSE

USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.

USA TODAY

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State has had some heartbreaking Bedlam losses recently: 48-47 in 2018, 62-52 in 2017, overtime in 2012.

OSU also has had some let’s-get-this-over-with Bedlam losses: 41-13 a week ago, 58-23 in 2015, 27-0 in 2009.

Doesn’t really matter how you lose, they all count the same. Until they don’t.

And they might not all count the same in 2020. In this crazy season, it might come down not just to whether you won or lost, but how many you lost by.

The Big 12 football race hits the homestretch, with just two Saturdays left before the championship game. Consider this scenario:

Oklahoma wins out to finish 7-2. The Sooners will be a big favorite at home over Baylor and solid favorites at West Virginia.

OSU wins out to finish 7-2. The Cowboys will be solid favorites at TCU and at Baylor.

West Virginia wins at Iowa State. Not likely, but possible. The Mountaineers are playing much better.

Texas loses at Kansas State. Not likely, but possible. Longhorns offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, a projected first-round draft pick, has left the team to concentrate on the NFL draft.

If those events happen, the Big 12 title game participants will be determined by margin of victory.

We would have a three-way tie for first among OU, OSU and Iowa State at 7-2, and each would be 1-1 against the other tied teams.

We would have a three-way tie for fourth among West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas, and the first-place teams would each be 2-1 against the fourth-place teams, which is the next criteria.

All three first-place teams would have beaten the seventh-, eighth-, ninth- and 10th-place teams.

Which brings us down to point differential. Iowa State beat OU 37-30, OSU beat Iowa State 24-21 and OU beat OSU 41-13. So the Sooners would be plus-21, the Cyclones plus-four and the Cowboys minus-25.

Setting up an OU-Iowa State title game.

The message is clear in college football. Never take your foot off the gas. Run up the score as much as possible.

I don’t like margin-of-victory criteria any more than you do, but I don’t have an easy answer for the Big 12. Round-robin schedule, top two teams play for the title? Unbreakable three-way ties are bound to arise once a decade or so.

The Big 12 twice had memorable three-way ties in the divisional days and relied on the Bowl Championship Series records to break the deadlock, when head-to-head failed. In 2008, OU, Texas and Texas Tech each were 7-1. In 2010, OU, OSU and Texas A&M each were 6-2.

The BCS picked OU both years. The

Read more

The College Athletes Who Are Allowed to Make Big Bucks: Cheerleaders

During the three years Jamie Andries spent as a member of the University of Oklahoma cheerleading team, she cheered at two Big 12 championship football games, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the 2016 Final Four.

And while the star football and basketball players in those games — including the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield and the future N.B.A. guard Buddy Hield — were forbidden to make money from their athletic fame beyond what the university provided to cover their attendance, Andries was receiving thousands of dollars through sponsorship deals with Crocs, L’Oréal, American Eagle and Lokai.

“Coming to OU for college was a big milestone for me but it has given me so many amazing opportunities like being able to cheer for the Sooners,” Andries said in an Instagram post in February 2016 that shows her wearing her cheer uniform and holding up her left wrist to display two Lokai bracelets. “This month I support @livelokai and the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The lucrative opportunities for Andries came because of her fame and a social media following in the cheerleading world — she is one of the top “cheerlebrities,” as such stars are known — and because the N.C.A.A. and its universities do not regulate cheerleading in the same ways they do other sports.

Long-held rules governing amateurism among college athletes do not apply to cheerleaders, meaning they can sell autographs, appear in commercials and wear their cheer uniforms while promoting products as social influencers, without fear of being disciplined. In sports governed by the N.C.A.A., athletes risk their eligibility to compete if they engage in similar activities, and their teams and universities can also be punished.

In 2011, for example, a scandal erupted at Ohio State when several football players sold awards, bowl-game memorabilia and other Buckeyes swag to the owner of a tattoo parlor, resulting in the resignation of the team’s coach, a skipped postseason and the loss of nine scholarships for the program.

The rules have also challenged some superstars to choose between college sports and the commercial markets. Simone Biles, the Olympic gymnastics champion, gave up a scholarship offer from U.C.L.A. when the financial reality of turning pro made participating in college sports seem like too much of a sacrifice.

The N.C.A.A. has long fought attempts to loosen its rules, but is now on a path toward allowing athletes to earn money from some endorsements, including through social media deals. The shift followed pressure from legislation in California and several other states, enacted by lawmakers who said the N.C.A.A.’s stance was no longer tenable given the significant growth of college sports as a moneymaking enterprise.

New rules are expected to be adopted by January and to take effect at the start of the 2021-22 academic year, creating a new market.

Andries said in an interview that she understands why the current restrictions for college athletes exist, but thinks that the rules can be changed in a way that is still palatable to universities

Read more

How Northwestern’s loss impacts Ohio State, Big Ten, College Football Playoff race

Ohio State, which was ranked No. 4 in the first set of College Football Playoff rankings this week, canceled its game Saturday against Illinois because of positive COVID-19 tests within the team.   

The Buckeyes have paused team activities and their hopes of reaching the Big Ten championship game for a fourth consecutive season have taken a hit because of the conference’s games-played standard for qualifying for the game.

MORE: Why was Ohio State-Illinois canceled?

None of that might matter. Michigan State did the Buckeyes a huge favor by knocking off No. 8 Northwestern 29-20 on Saturday. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 5-1, leaving Ohio State (4-0) as the lone unbeaten team left in the Big Ten.  

What does the result mean for the conference race and the College Football Playoff rankings over the next two weeks? We take a closer look: 

Northwestern isn’t out yet

The Wildcats can still clinch the Big Ten West championship with victories against Minnesota and Iowa the next two weeks. Their head-to-head victory over Wisconsin last week remains the key.  

That said, Northwestern missed a chance Saturday to clinch its spot in the Big Ten championship game, and a drop out of the top 10 in the second set of College Football Playoff rankings is inevitable.

The Wildcats fell behind early, Peyton Ramsey threw three interceptions and the Spartans took advantage of those mistakes. 

Northwestern faces more obstacles than the Buckeyes in making the four-team playoff. In their case, a Big Ten championship does not necessarily clinch a spot. Cincinnati would have a strong argument over Northwestern in that scenario. 

Ohio State has two B1G options  

The best scenario for the Buckeyes will be to play against Michigan State and Michigan the next two weeks and clinch a fourth straight berth in the Big Ten championship game.  

Northwestern would be the likely opponent, and Ohio State beat the Wildcats 45-24 in the 2018 Big Ten championship game. The Buckeyes would be playing for a guaranteed Playoff berth in this game, however.  

If the Buckeyes are unable to meet the six-game requirement for the Big Ten championship game because one or both games against Michigan State and Michigan are canceled, then Northwestern’s loss means that’s not a deal-breaker. There are no other unbeaten teams remaining in the conference.  

Ohio State could, in theory, also play Wisconsin or Iowa on championship weekend in a division crossover game if it does not qualify for the Big Ten title game, and the victory would likely carry similar weight with the College Football Playoff committee. Expect the Buckeyes to get some leeway because of the COVID-19 issues. 

The Buckeyes are in if they win 

What if Ohio State does not meet the six-game requirement? When the Big Ten made the decision to play in 2020, commissioner Kevin Warren acknowledged the season was a “fluid situation.”   

This is Ohio State, the three-time defending conference champion. The Big Ten could waive the six-game requirement to make the Big Ten championship game

Read more

BIG NOON KICKOFF Announces Big Ten Championship Game Kickoff Time, Discusses College Football Playoff Rankings and More

On today’s edition of BIG NOON KICKOFF, host Rob Stone, analysts Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Urban Meyer and Charles Woodson and reporter Bruce Feldman look at the Big Ten’s Championship Game criteria, break down the first College Football Playoff rankings and more.

FOX Sports announced on today’s show that the Big Ten Championship Game moves to the network’s premier BIG NOON SATURDAY time slot, at 12:00 PM ET on Saturday, Dec. 19. That weekend, BIG NOON KICKOFF will be live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 10:00 AM ET.

Feldman reports on the criteria for teams to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game:
“Even though the Buckeyes sit there at 4-0, if they are not able to play the next two games in the regular season, then they would fall behind the Big Ten criteria for the minimum six games needed to qualify for the Big Ten title game. Now there’s one caveat in here, – if the total number of games for the whole league falls below an average of six, that could give them some flexibility to get in. But our math tells us that for that to happen, the Big Ten would need to have 12 of the next 14 games over the next two weeks canceled for that threshold to be altered.”

Meyer reacts to teams potentially not meeting the minimum number of games played requirement:
“Your heart breaks in half when you think about the discipline and all of the things and the sacrifices that the players have made, and to get those positives.”

“They worked so hard, and it is gone. I mean, when you start talking about 21 days – some conferences have 10. Twenty-one days – it might be over.”

Quinn says that the Big Ten should be flexible under the circumstances:
“The Big Ten and college football, they’re going to have to be flexible. If you look at how the NFL has been able to survive for the most part, making some adjustments, but they’ve adapted as the season has gone along. That is where Kevin Warren, the Big Ten Commissioner, he may have to change the threshold based on what they agreed to earlier. I know it hasn’t impacted all teams – Wisconsin and now Ohio State – but it is impacting the conference. It is impacting where the conference can potentially go at the end of the year.

“Some people might say that is unfair to all the other teams if we are just making this about Wisconsin or Ohio State. No, it is not, because it is unfair to those athletes. Ultimately, there are going to be more teams, I’m sure, impacted by this down the stretch. But in my mind, they’ve got to

Read more

Kate Middleton Hosts Virtual Forum With “5 Big Insights”

The data has been crunched and conclusions have been made. A fact-finding mission known as The Forum on The Early Years, spearheaded by Kate Middleton and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has attracted over 500,000 responses this year, making it the largest survey of its kind in UK history.

The 5 Big Questions, an audit meant to help charities set their priorities for the future of early childhood education and support, has been the Duchess of Camrbidge’s primary focus throughout the year, despite the obvious obstacle of the coronavirus pandemic. The 5 Big Questions, her first solo project, is the culmination of nearly eight years she has spent working with family charities as a senior royal.

She spoke at a virtual event on Friday, reiterating her belief that “the early years should be on par with the other great social challenges and opportunities of our time.”

Touching upon the longterm nature of the work, she said, “it is a brave thing to believe in an outcome – in a world even – that might not be fully felt for a generation or more.”

The 5 Big Questions have generated what’s been dubbed the 5 Big Insights, guidelines to ensure mental health and wellbeing for parents, carers, and children. The data reveals nuance on the topic of nature vs. nurture, societal pressure in how to raise children, and the reluctance some feel in asking for help.

“People overwhelmingly believe that a child’s future is not pre-determined at birth,” the report reads. “However, most people don’t understand the specific importance of the early years.”

Additionally, “the reality of life makes it hard for parents to prioritize their wellbeing.” In other words, like they say on airplanes, you gotta strap on your own oxygen mask before you put on your kid’s. (The Duchess did not put it this way.)

The third Big Insight noted that “feeling judged by others can make a bad situation worse,” with 70 percent of responders saying that the opinions of others can have an effect, with nearly half feeling negatively impacted.

The fourth and fifth insights were specific to the coronavirus pandemic, noting an increase in loneliness, and unwillingness to be frank with their feelings, and how community outreach was found lacking in more economically disadvantaged areas.

A more detailed summary can be found here.

“Parenthood isn’t a prerequisite for understanding the importance of the early years,” Middleton concluded. “If we only expect people to take an interest in the early years when they have children, we are not only too late for them, we are underestimating the huge role others can play in shaping our most formative years too.”

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

— Why Princess Diana’s Controversial 1995 Interview Still Stings
— Inside Britney Spears’s Fight for Legal Control Over Her Life
— Prince Charles Will Wear the Same Royal Wedding Suit As Long As It Fits
— Internet It Girl Poppy Is Burning Down 2020 and Starting Again

Read more

New Maps Help AZ Manage Big Game Migrations / Public News Service

A new U.S. Geological Survey map charts the annual migration patterns of the pronghorn antelope and other big-game species across Arizona and other Western states. (Rod Gardner/Adobe stock)

A new U.S. Geological Survey map charts the annual migration patterns of the pronghorn antelope and other big-game species across Arizona and other Western states. (Rod Gardner/Adobe stock)

November 27, 2020

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. — Wildlife managers across the West have a new tool at their disposal when it comes to protecting iconic big game.

A new report published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides detailed maps of GPS tracked migration routes for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bison.

Matthew Kauffman, USGS wildlife researcher and the report’s lead author, said stakeholders from conservationists to transportation agencies have long realized it’s critical to understand how big game move across Arizona’s landscapes.

“And are ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work to enhance and maintain the connectivity of these migration corridors,” Kauffman shared. “And now they have a tool that can guide that on-the-ground work.”

Development across the West, from energy production to expanding suburbs, has created roadblocks on routes used by wildlife for thousands of years.

Kauffman explained the new maps provide a blueprint for helping animals get back on track. Conservationists are hopeful the maps can also be used to monitor and limit the spread of contagious diseases such as chronic wasting disease.

Kauffman emphasized the research confirms migration is how most animals stay alive in western states. New vegetation sprouts in lower elevations in early spring, and as temperatures rise, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and other ungulates ride what Kauffman calls a green wave into higher elevations where their favorite food pops up next.

Climate change is also impacting migration. Longer and more severe drought has altered when and where food is available along historical corridors.

“Drought disrupts that green wave, and makes it more difficult for animals to surf,” Kauffman reported. “They still try, they do their best given the drought conditions, but they just can’t be in the right place at the right time.”

The new study builds on more than two decades of research by state wildlife agencies including GPS tracking-collar data, mapping more than 40 big-game migration routes in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Kauffman added the maps are available to state and local agencies, and other stakeholders working to keep migration corridors and animal populations viable in Arizona and across the West.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service – AZ

Source Article

Read more