Photos: Life in migration

Wildlife species make their quests to mate, give birth, feed and seek shelter across the American West.

  • A herd of 400 pronghorn in western Wyoming forms one of the longest land mammal migrations in the Lower 48.

    Joe Riis
  • A researcher measures body fat by ultrasound to determine if a doe is pregnant.

    Mark Gocke
  • A ewe with her lambs in early winter.

    Mark Gocke
  • A billy mountain goat in winter.

    Mark Gocke
  • Elk on their spring migration over the Absaroka Mountains on their way to the Thorofare region of Yellowstone National Park. Often the older bull elk migrate in early spring, with the cows and younger elk following later.

    Joe Riis


The unexpected sight of a bighorn sheep from a curvy mountain road or a herd of elk emerging from the forest’s shadows at dusk can give a person an illuminating glimpse into the lives of our wild fellow creatures. In Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates, the reader learns how these snippets of animal encounters intersect with the bigger picture: the arduous and complex migratory journeys that many wildlife species make on their quests to mate, give birth, feed and seek shelter across the American West.

Writer Emilene Ostlind, a former HCN intern and editorial fellow, vividly describes animal migration, explaining how researchers track wildlife movements and the important role conservation efforts play in preserving habitat. These stories, accompanied by intriguing scientific observations, illustrations, sweeping maps and photography, take readers on their own journey into the mountains and grasslands of Wyoming, the rugged landscape many of these animals call home.

Wild Migrations, Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates,
By Matthew J. Kauffman, James E. Meacham, Hall Sawyer, Alethea Y. Steingisser, William J. Rudd and Emilene Ostlind. 208 pages, hardcover: $50.
Oregon State University Press, 2018.