Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist: 49:3–12; 2017


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Animal movement patterns are variable, with certain species primarily being diurnal and others nocturnal. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) are regarded as diurnal animals moving predominately during daylight hours. Anecdotal accounts, however, suggest that pronghorn move during the night but the extent, frequency, and importance of these nocturnal movement behaviors are unknown. To evaluate movements, we combined global positioning system relocation data from collared female pronghorn in the Northern Sagebrush Steppe between 2003 and 2007 with sunrise/sunset data within a geographical information system platform. We assessed whether mean and maximum movement rates were influenced by diel period (dawn, day, dusk, and night), month (January through December), movement strategy (migrant or resident), and year individuals were captured (2003, 2005, or 2006). Diel period and month greatly influenced mean and mean maximum movement rates. Pronghorn were indeed primarily diurnal in activity but significant movement did occur at night. Our results indicate pronghorn primarily move during the daytime, a period when humans also are most active on the landscape. This movement cycle has important implications for management and conservation of pronghorn at the northern periphery of its range.