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(Many Paths)
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Colville Tribal Fish And Wildlife To Reintroduce Pronghorn, 'A Native Species To The Homelands Of Our People,' Says Release
by The Tribal Tribune - Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Pronghorn Antelope

Nespelem, WA — Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife staff will travel to Nevada in January to assist with capture efforts of up to 100 pronghorn antelope, intended to be released near the Tumwater Basin and White Lakes Mitigation Areas, on the southwest corner of the Colville Indian Reservation.

"Our staff will work with the Nevada Department of Wildlife," said Richard Whitney, wildlife manager. "We will utilize an aerial capture company from Nevada to roundup and corral the pronghorn groups into a capture area. From there, the ground crews will move them to a processing area."

Once captured, each animal will receive shots, receive veterinarian check-ups, have blood drawn for disease testing and get GPS-collars attached for monitoring purposes.

After they are processed, the pronghorn will be loaded into livestock trailers.

Wildlife officials say the release should happen within 24 hours after being captured.

The Colville Tribal Wildlife Mitigation Project purchased the Wildlife Management Areas where the animals will be released.

Pronghorn Antelope
Often confused with its cousin the springbok, the pronghorn has evolved interlocking joints that make it unable to jump. However, this same evolutionary adaptation has made it an extremely efficient runner. The pronghorn can consume between six to 10 liters of oxygen per minute, which is five times faster than most mammals its size. This in turn allows them to burn more oxygen and reach tops speeds of 55 mph.

"There is enough native habitat on the plateau to support them," said Whitney. "We chose to move forward with the reintroduction at this time since a primary goal of the wildlife program is to restore native and desired non-native species to the Colville Reservation. Pronghorn are a native species to the homelands of our people. Since they have been extirpated from Wash., our tribal members have had to go to other states in order to utilize these animals for subsistence."

A release from CTFW, distributed today, Dec. 14, states, "These parcels of land were purchased using funding supplied by Bonneville Power Administration to offset a portion of their wildlife mitigation obligation for Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph hydropower projects."

According to the release, "Wildlife staff have protected these lands from livestock, conducted planting and seeding efforts, removed unneeded fencing and made existing fencing more wildlife friendly by removing the bottom wire and using smooth wire so pronghorn can go under fences without injury."

CBC approved the reintroduction of antelope in early 2015.

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