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El berrendo [Sonoran pronghorn antelope] (Antilocapra americana ssp. Sonoriensis), native to the American continent and the fastest animal in North America dating back nearly 20 million years, has become an icon of the Pinacate and the region. Despite important gains in reproduction in recent years, this representative species is at risk of extinction.
Given the precarious situation of the Sonoran berrendo, this year the National Council for Protected Areas at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve (CONANP) is furthering efforts to promote its conservation.
To achieve the goals of the Sonoran Berrendo conservation campaign, CONANP staff at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve have developed a series of activities for the year, beginning now in January.
Activities within the conservation campaign include educational programs at schools in Puerto Peñasco, Sonoyta, and San Luis Río Colorado, which will include murals and contests as a manner to encourage care for this species endemic to the area from an early age. These programs will also be shown in the AV theater at the “Shuck Toak” Vistors Center of the Pinacate.
Additional strategies include the dissemination of information through the press, from radio and TV spots to flyers, interviews, and informative presentations, as well as information over social networks.
Another fundamental activity of the campaign involves informational workshops by specialists in the field to staff at the Reserve itself. These will also include talks with ejido property owners as part of raising community awareness.
Actions focused specifically on preservation of the species include monitoring by land, community surveillance, military monitoring, the removal of fences and roads in areas inhabited by the Sonoran berrendo.
It is estimated there are currently 450 berrendo, whose habitat has been destroyed by man, excessive hunting, and fragmentation due to highway construction.