Pronghorn Antelope, Lost in Thought
Portrait of an old timer waiting paitently for me to finish photographing him at the entrance to the refuge. Thanks guy!
The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is a species of artiodactyl (even-toed, hoofed) mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is known colloquially in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, speed goat, pronghorn antelope, prairie antelope, or simply antelope because it closely resembles the antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to parallel evolution. It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae.
During the Pleistocene epoch, about 11 other antilocaprid species existed in North America. Three other genera (Capromeryx, Stockoceros and Tetrameryx) existed when humans entered North America but are now extinct.
As a member of the superfamily Giraffoidea, the pronghorn's closest living relatives are the giraffe and okapi. The Giraffoidea are in turn members of the infraorder Pecora, making pronghorns more distant relatives of the Cervidae (deer) and Bovidae (cattle, goats, sheep, antelopes, and gazelles), among others.
The pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, with running speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). It is the symbol of the American Society of Mammalogists.Wikipedia: Pronghorn
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (also called Ouray National Waterfowl Refuge) is a wildlife refuge in central Uintah County, Utah in the northeastern part of the state. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge system, located two miles northeast of the village of Ouray, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of the town of Randlett, and 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Vernal.
Established in 1960, it straddles the Green River for 12 miles (19 km), and covers 11,987 acres (48.51 km2). A portion of the refuge (3,800 acres [1,500 ha]) is leased from the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. The refuge was created for the use of both local and migratory birds, and with funds provided by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps.
The site of the refuge also holds the Ouray National Fish Hatchery, which was established in 1996 to help hatch razorback suckers, humpback chubs, Colorado pikeminnows and Bonytail chubs.Wikipedia: Ouray National Wildlife Refuge