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Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status
About one million individuals (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2016 citing O'Gara 1999, Byers 2011)
750,000 mature individuals
Stable, except in Mexico, where declining (Byers 2011; IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2016)
Fewer than 300 Sonoran Pronghorn in the U.S. and 200-500 individuals in Sonora, Mexico (IUCN 2008; Byers 2011)
Populations of Sonoran Pronghorn in Arizona and Mexico protected since 1967 under US Endangered Species Act.
In 1998 US Fish and Wildlife Service developed a recovery plan for Sonoran Pronghorn.
Population changes through history
At one time there were thought to be 35 million or more pronghorns in their original range. During the latter half of the 19th century, numbers were reduced by 99% due to hunting and loss of habitat to agriculture, settlement, and fencing tracts of land, falling to 13,000 by 1915
Conservation practices ended the decline in the early 20th century. From 1915 to 1925, the population increased to 30,500
The population continued to increase into the 1980s, reaching more than 1 million in 1984, the highest number in the 20th century
By 1997, the population had decreased again by about one-third
In 2000, population estimates were 32,000 for Canada, 1,200 for Mexico, and 765,200 for the United States, a combined total of 799,200
The Mexican subspecies (mexicana, peninsularis, and sonoriensis) experienced a continual decline of more than 80% throughout the 20th century
(IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2016)
Least Concern (2016 assessment) (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2016)
2008: Least Concern
1996: Lower Risk/least concern
Only the population of Mexico is included in Appendix (UNEP 2019)
No other population included in the CITES Appendices
U.S. Endangered Species Act
Two subspecies (Sonoran and Baja Califronia pronghorn) are listed as Endangered by the USFWS.
Populations of the Sonoran Pronghorn in Arizona and Mexico have been protected since 1967
Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pronghorns have game-animal status in all of the western states of the United States, and permits are required to trap or shoot pronghorns.
Threats to Survival
No major range-wide threats (historicaly, loss of habitat and overhunting)
Barriers to movements: roads, fences, etc.
Malnutrition and lack of water
Removal of native vegetation by rangeland projects
Illegal hunting, mainly in Mexico
Conservation Success Story
Pronghorn have made a remarkable recovery since their populations were reduced by 99% in the latter part of the 19th century.
Today, their numbers are stable, except possibly in Mexico and other areas where illegal hunting poses a threat to certain populations.
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