The Greater Hart-Sheldon straddles the Oregon-Nevada border and provides essential habitat for pronghorn, as well as hundreds of other sagebrush-dependent plants and animals. In 2016, the region supported more than 8,000 pronghorn. However, populations have declined since then, with the most recent count at 4,313 animals in 2019.
As Shannon Ludwig, Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex Refuge Manager, explained, “fences clearly can disrupt migration corridors for wildlife, especially larger ungulate wildlife, with how the fences are designed. Deer like to jump over fences, and pronghorn and bighorn sheep like to go under the fences.”
Information recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey highlights the critical importance of the Greater Hart-Sheldon to the future of North America’s “prairie ghost.” ONDA used this GIS data to create the map below, which highlights how much of the migration corridor lacks a strong protective status and how many miles of fencing still cross this corridor.