Mule Deer Herd Holds Furthest Migration Distance Record in the Lower 48

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A newly-discovered mule deer herd in Wyoming now boasts the furthest migration distance of any land mammal in the Lower 48 states. According to a press release from the University of Wyoming (UW), the herd was first documented in 2011 by research biologist Hall Sawyer, who also pioneered methods to track one of the nation’s other wild travelers: the pronghorn.

“Ungulate migrations require vast, wide-open landscapes, and they are part of what makes Wyoming one of the few truly wild places in the West,” said UW associate professor Matt Kauffman, who also serves as director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative and head of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

The mule deer herd—which numbers about 500 at the start of the spring journey—can travel more than 150 miles. This lengthy migration route takes the herd from the Red Desert through the west side of the Wind River Mountains, along the narrow corridor between the base of the mountains, and concludes at individual summer ranges in the Hoback Basin. In the journey, the herd can absorb up to 5,000 additional deer as the animals make their way north.

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Source: Outdoor Hub

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