The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be conducting aerial gunning projects in game management unit 10 and 18B as part of the state’s efforts to help protect antelope fawns.
The projects started April 1 and will go through May 31. This is the most critical time for antelope fawns.
The efforts by the department are expected to assist the pronghorn populations, who according to the department, “are struggling due to drought, and other factors, such as encroachment of woody plants, habitat fragmentation due to road building and fences, and habitat loss due to development.”
“Fawns are most susceptible to predation during the first few weeks of life,” said April Howard, the Department’s predator, furbearer and large carnivore biologist. “Our intent is to reduce predation during fawning season to provide newborn fawns a window of survivability. Reducing predation should give newborn fawns a chance to survive long enough so they can escape predators.”
Howard noted that in game management Unit 18B, areas that will be targeted for coyote removal include the areas north of Bagdad. Pronghorn fawn mortality rates have been high due in part to the dry range conditions and predation by coyotes. In Unit 10, areas north of Seligman will be targeted.
Coyote removal is a short-term effort to assist pronghorn herds that are in trouble.
There is no shortage of coyotes in Arizona. It has been estimated that there is one coyote for every square mile of land in Arizona. Arizona encompasses 113,998 square miles.