Antilocapra americana - (Ord, 1815)
Other English Common Names: pronghorn
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Antilocapra americana (Ord, 1815) (TSN 180717)
French Common Names: antilope d'Amérique
Spanish Common Names: Berrendo
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100336
Element Code: AMALD01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Other Mammals
Image 7674

© Larry Master

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Artiodactyla Antilocapridae Antilocapra
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at:
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Antilocapra americana
Taxonomic Comments: Thought to belong to the family Bovidae by some authors, but retained in the Antilocapridae by recent authors (e.g., Janis and Scott 1987; Jones et al. 1992; Grubb, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005). See Kraus and Miyamoto (1991) for a phylogenetic analysis of pecoran ruminants (Cervidae, Bovidae, Moschidae, Antilocapridae, and Giraffidae) based on mitochondrial DNA data; relationship of Antilocapridae and Bovidae remains unresolved.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 19Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range in western North America, common in several regions; generally well managed as a game species with sustainable populations.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (29Dec2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arizona (S5), California (SNR), Colorado (S4), Idaho (S5), Iowa (SX), Kansas (S3), Minnesota (SX), Montana (S5), Navajo Nation (S3), Nebraska (S3), Nevada (S5), New Mexico (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Oklahoma (S3), Oregon (S4), South Dakota (S5), Texas (S5), Utah (S4), Washington (SX), Wyoming (S5)
Canada Alberta (S3S4), Manitoba (SX), Saskatchewan (S3)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies sonoriensis of Arizona and Mexico is listed by USFWS as Endangered, except where listed as nonessential experimental population (established in southwestern Arizona (USFWS, May 05, 2011).
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Western North America, from southern Prairie Provinces of Canada (southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan) south through the western U.S. to northern Mexico (Baja California, Sonora, Hidalgo). Introduced on Lanai (Hawaii) in 1959; reached population of about 250 in the mid-1960s; less than 12 in 1983 and headed for extinction (Tomich 1986).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Western North America, from southern Prairie Provinces of Canada (southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan) south through the western U.S. to northern Mexico (Baja California, Sonora, Hidalgo). Introduced on Lanai (Hawaii) in 1959; reached population of about 250 in the mid-1960s; less than 12 in 1983 and headed for extinction (Tomich 1986).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, IAextirpated, ID, KS, MNextirpated, MT, ND, NE, NM, NN, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WAextirpated, WY
Canada AB, MBextirpated, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Coconino (04005), La Paz (04012), Maricopa (04013), Pima (04019), Yuma (04027)
NM Mckinley (35031)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
13 Arroyo Chico (13020205)+
14 Lower Lake Powell (14070006)+*, Chaco (14080106)+
15 Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+, Zuni (15020004)+, Lower Puerco (15020007)+, Lower Little Colorado (15020016)+, Lower Gila-Painted Rock Reservoir (15070101)+*, Lower Gila (15070201)+, San Cristobal Wash (15070203)+, San Simon Wash (15080101)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
General Description: Upperparts are reddish brown to tan; underparts, lower sides, rump, and two bands on the neck are white; neck has a short black mane; male has a black band along each side of the snout, a black patch on each cheek, and sometimes black bands on the neck; males and most females have horns (larger and usually forked in males; sheaths are shed annually); two toes on each hoofed foot; head and body length 100-150 cm, tail 8-18 cm, mass 36-70 kg (Nowak 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Shape of the horns and annual shedding of horn sheaths are unique among North American ungulates. Differs from the bighorn sheep in having white bands on the neck and slightly curved horns rather than strongly curved horns. Differs from deer in having white lower sides rather than lower sides the same basic color as the upper sides; also, deer lack conspicuous white bands on the neck.
Reproduction Comments: Breeds mid-September to early October in north, late July to early October in south. Gestation lasts 240-250 days in north, shorter in south (e.g., 210-225 days in Texas). Births occur earlier in south than in north; April-May in Texas, mainly first half of June in Colorado (Fairbanks, 1993, J. Mamm. 74:129-135). Females give birth usually to twins (single fawns mainly from young females). Young are weaned by four months, but continue to follow mother during first winter. Some begin breeding at 1 year.
Ecology Comments: Usually in small bands. Large winter herds disperse in spring. Forms separate bachelor and female-kid groups in spring and summer. Males associate with females in late summer and early fall. High mortality in young is common (mostly predation).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Seasonal movements occur in some populations. Sometimes moves as much as 160 km from summering area (O'Gara 1978).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Grasslands, sagebrush plains, deserts, and foothills. Need for free water varies with succulence of vegetation in the diet. Birth and fawn bedding sites in a sagebrush-steppe community in south-central Wyoming were in dense shrub cover, but the tallest, most dense cover was avoided (Alldredge et al. 1991).
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: In winter, northern populations depend heavily on browse, especially sagebrush. Forbs most important in summer. Southern populations use more forbs and less browse. Also eats grasses; in some areas, cactus (including burned OPUNTIA).
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Crepuscular, Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Crepuscular, Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Daily activity pattern varies seasonally. Alternating periods of feeding and rest occur throughout the day, with fairly continuous feeding in the early morning and late afternoon, and longer rest periods at night (Davis 1974).
Length: 145 centimeters
Weight: 63000 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Management Requirements: In southeastern Alberta, Courtney (1989) concluded that prescribed burning could improve range quality in fall and early spring and would improve pronghorn prewinter condition and winter survival.
Monitoring Requirements: See Firchow et al. (1990) and Johnson et al. (1991) for a comparison of aerial survey techniques.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: None.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Occurrence separations should be based on populations that exhibit specific migration patterns, or on appropriate resource agency management units, rather than on specific prescribed distances.
Separation Justification: Seasonal home ranges in summer and early autumn in Wyoming were 2.6-5.2 sq km (O'Gara 1978). Yoakum (1978) stated that most herds have ranges 8-16 km wide. However, the distance between summer and winter ranges may be as much as 160 km (O'Gara 1978).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 8 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Most herds have ranges with a diameter of 8 kilometers or more (Yoakum 1978).
Date: 23Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G. and S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 31May1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Alldredge, A. W., R. D. Deblinger, and J. Peterson. 1991. Birth and fawn bed site selection by pronghorns in a sagebrush-steppe community. J. Wildl. Manage. 55:222-227.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.

  • Beck, W.H. 1958. A guide to Saskatchewan mammals. Special Publication No. 1. Saskatchewan Natural History Society, Regina, Saskatchewan.

  • Bradley, R.D., L.K. Ammerman, R.J. Baker, L.C. Bradley, J.A. Cook. R.C. Dowler, C. Jones, D.J. Schmidly, F.B. Stangl Jr., R.A. Van den Bussche and B. Würsig. 2014. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2014. Museum of Texas Tech University Occasional Papers 327:1-28. Available at: <> (Accessed April 1, 2015)

  • Caire, W., J. D. Tyler, B. P. Glass, and M. A. Mares. 1989. Mammals of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Oklahoma. 567 pp.

  • Courtney, R. F. 1989. Pronghorn use of recently burned mixed prairie in Alberta. J. Wildl. Manage. 53:302-305.

  • Davis, W. B. 1974. The mammals of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., Bull. No. 41. 294 pp.

  • Einarsen, A. S. 1948. The pronghorn antelope and its management. Wildlife Management Inst., Washington, D.C. 235 pp.

  • Firchow, K. M., M. R. Vaughan, and W. R. Mytton. 1990. Comparison of aerial survey techniques for pronghorns. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 18:18-23.

  • Hoffmeister, D. F. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. University of Arizona Press and Arizona Game and Fish Department. 602 pp.

  • Janis, C. M., and K. M. Scott. 1987. The interrelationships of high ruminant families with special emphasis on the members of the Cervoidea. Am. Mus. Novitates 2893:1-85.

  • Johnson, B. K., F. G. Lindzey, and R. J. Guenzel. 1991. Use of aerial line transect surveys to estimate pronghorn populations in Wyoming. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 19:315-321.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., D. M. Armstrong, R. S. Hoffmann, and C. Jones. 1983. Mammals of the Northern Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.

  • Kramer, R. J. 1971. Hawaiian land mammals. Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc., Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo, Japan. 347 pp.

  • Kraus, F., and M. M. Miyamoto. 1991. Rapid cladogenesis among the pecoran ruminants: evidence from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Systematic Zoology 40:117-130.

  • Maher, C. R. 1994. Pronghorn male spatial organization: population differences in degree of nonterritoriality. Can. J. Zool. 72:455-464.

  • O'Gara, B.W. 1978. ANTILOCAPRA AMERICANA. Mammalian Species,90:1-7.

  • Parks Canada. 2000. Vertebrate Species Database. Ecosystems Branch, 25 Eddy St., Hull, PQ, K1A 0M5.

  • Smith, H.C. 1993. Alberta mammals: an atlas and guide. The Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 239 pp.

  • Tomich, P. Q. 1986. Mammals in Hawai'i. A synopsis and notational bibliography. Second edition. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 375 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2010. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: Establishment of a nonessential experimental population of Sonoran pronghorn in southwestern Arizona. Federal Register 75(23):5732-5745.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at:

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Two volumes. 2,142 pp. Available online at:

  • Wilson, D. E., and S. Ruff. 1999. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 750 pp.

  • Yoakum, J. 1988. The American Pronghorn. pp636-648. IN, Chandler, W.I. and L. Labaste (eds.). Audobon Wildlife Report 1988/89. Academic Press Inc., New York. 817pp.

  • Yoakum, J. D. 1978. Pronghorn. Pages 103-121 IN Schmidt, J. L., and D. L. Gilbert, eds. 1978. Big game of North America. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, xv + 494 pp.

  • Yoakum, J.D. and J.D. Spalinger. 1979. American pronghorn antelope. 244 pp.

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