Cooperative Research Units
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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Mule Deer Project


July 2015 - July 2020


Healthy ungulate populations are essential to sustaining the ecological, economic and cultural values of our Western landscapes. Increasingly, scientists and wildlife managers are recognizing that the productivity of western herds of mule deer depend on their ability to migrate seasonally across vast expanses of public and private lands. Mule deer are especially important to the ecology and economy of northwest Wyoming, part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Along the eastern front of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, mule deer herds migrate from higher elevations in summer to lower elevation wintering habitats. Although a comprehensive map of the elk migrations of the GYE is soon to be completed, mule deer migration corridors have never been mapped comprehensively (Fig. 1). Historical observations throughout the GYE suggest some mule deer travel more than 100 miles from Wyoming across Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks into Idaho, suggesting critical importance in the region and acute vulnerability to any habitat change.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 17

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 4

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 17

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 107



Funding Agencies

  • Muley Fanatic Foundation
  • Private donors
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department
  • Wyoming Wildlife Foundation


Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. University of Wyoming
  4. Wildlife Management Institute
  5. Wyoming Game and Fish Department