Published: July 6, 2021
Author(s): Jason Fidorra and T.C. Peterson
By the start of the 20th century, pronghorn antelope were extirpated from Washington. The Yakama tribe reintroduced pronghorn onto the Yakama Reservation in Washington, releasing 198 animals from 2011 to 2019. These pronghorn dispersed from their release locations and increased in abundance according to biennial surveys. We conducted a fourth biennial aerial survey on March 2-3, 2021 in parts of Benton, Klickitat, and Yakima counties in south-central Washington, including parts of the Yakama Reservation and private lands. The objective of the survey was to obtain a minimum population estimate for pronghorn. We counted a total of 216 pronghorn from the air and an additional 34 from ground counts, for a total minimum population estimate of 250 pronghorn. This remains a relatively small population and there is currently no legal harvest of the species in areas under the auspices of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)or Yakama Nation. The Yakama Nation and WDFW have been developing plans regarding future management for this herd.