The North American Pronghorn is one special animal. They were found in most of the grasslands of the West during the 1800's. Like most wildlife, as human populations in these areas increased and changes to the natural habitat were made to accommodate those populations, the pronghorn numbers suffered. The invention of firearms and net wire fence also greatly decreased the pronghorn herds. It was through modern conservation that they have recovered and are currently in abundance in the remaining grasslands of the West.
Pronghorn currently are found in about 17 million acres in Texas and about 70% of the animals are found in the Panhandle region. Populations in the Panhandle area have grown in the past several years while the Trans-Pecos region has experienced severe declines in their pronghorn numbers. There is currently intensive research being conducted to try and determine the reason for these declining numbers in that area.
The pronghorn antelope is a grassland animal and require wide open spaces for habitat. They prefer flat terrain or gently rolling hills with good ground cover and nearby water resource. The pronghorns' use their amazing eyesight for survival and will use every effort to keep any threat in their sight. They can reach speeds of more than 50mph, earning them the nick-name "speed-goat." They also stay in large groups using their numbers as a protection strategy from danger.
Pronghorn feed primarily on forbs and shrubs which can make up to 85% of their diet if available. They eat very little grass and will eat broad-leafed plants. Water consumption changes seasonally depending upon the amount of water derived from the plants they consume.
Managers should try and ensure a good water source is within 2 miles of good pronghorn habitat and that the water is in an open area.
Pronghorn primarily do not jump, thus fences are obstacles that prevent them from being able to protect themselves from nasty weather or look for more substantial provision to maintain their health.