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NM, AZ 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 28, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico and Arizona are neighbors and sometimes, the neighborly thing to do is to share or trade resources – even if those resources are critters, such as turkeys and pronghorns.

Rachel Shockley, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, says her agency recently gave Arizona 43 pronghorn, a species similar to antelope, in exchange for 60 Gould's turkeys.

Shockley says 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 and so, Arizona wanted a few pronghorn that they could add to their herds,” she explains, “hopefully boost the populations back up."

Shockley adds the pronghorn sent to Arizona were trapped on a ranch in northern New Mexico, in part because the southern portion of the state has a bigger population.

The turkeys descending upon the Land of Enchantment will take up residency in the mountain ranges in southern New Mexico.

Shockley says it will help grow a small flock of Gould's turkeys and will also be a treat for fans of wildlife.

"We would like to see New Mexicans have a higher opportunity to enjoy those animals,” she explains. “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."

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



Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM