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AZ, NM Make a Trade: Pronghorns for Gould's Turkeys

PHOTO: In a unique exchange, New Mexico is sending some pronghorn to Arizona for some of the Grand Canyon State's Gould's turkeys. Photo credit: New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish.
PHOTO: In a unique exchange, New Mexico is sending some pronghorn to Arizona for some of the Grand Canyon State's Gould's turkeys. Photo credit: New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish.
January 29, 2014

PHOENIX - Arizona and New Mexico are neighbors, and sometimes the neighborly thing to do is share or trade resources - even if those resources are critters such as turkeys and pronghorns.

Rachel Shockley, spokeswoman for New Mexico Game and Fish, said her agency recently gave Arizona 43 pronghorn, a species similar to antelope, in exchange for 60 Gould's turkeys. Shockley said New Mexico has about 30,000 pronghorn, while Arizona's herd has diminished in recent years.

"Some of the populations in Arizona were impacted by the drought," she said, "and so Arizona wanted a few pronghorn that they could add to their herds - hopefully boost the populations back up."

Shockley said the pronghorn sent to Arizona were trapped in northern New Mexico, where the pronghorn are most plentiful.

The turkeys descending upon New Mexico will take up residency in the state's southern mountain ranges. Shockley said it will help grow a small flock of Gould's turkeys and also will be a treat for fans of wildlife.

"We would like to see New Mexicans have a higher opportunity to enjoy those animals," she said. "They're pretty rare, and a lot of New Mexicans have never even heard of them, let alone seen them, so we'd like to boost the population numbers."

Animal trades between states are fairly rare, Shockley said, and Arizona called on New Mexico because of its experience and expertise at trapping and relocating the very fast and very elusive pronghorn.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ