Wyoming Game and Fish biologist Tony Mong will discuss initiatives that conserve and manage Wyoming’s big game herds at 6 p.m., Monday, April 1.
His talk will be in conjunction with an exhibit titled “America’s Longest Mule Deer Migration Corridor: From the Red Desert to the Hoback” which features the photographs of Joe Riis.
The migration study will be displayed through the month of April. Both talk and show are free and open to the public at the Cody library.
Riis is a wildlife photographer whose work for the Wyoming Migration Initiative illustrates the lives of mule deer on the Red Desert to Hoback migration corridor. Viewers may travel along with the deer as they undertake a 150-mile-long journey north from the hills near Rock Springs to the peaks surrounding the Hoback Basin near Bondurant.
While this migration has been known for decades, the full extent was only revealed in 2012 after biologist Hall Sawyer placed GPS collars in a herd of mule deer in the Red Desert. His data resulted in the first detailed map of the mule deer corridor and associated obstacles.
Using camera traps that take a photo when deer pass by an infrared sensor, Riis documented how deer navigate obstacles as they travel between winter and summer range.
Riis is a National Geographic Fellow who has worked on assignments on five continents. Trained as a wildlife biologist, his portraits reflect an immediacy of one who is willing to meet the animals where they live.
The library books “Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations,” “Yellowstone Migrations” and “Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming Ungulates” contain more Riis photos and further information on the lives of ungulates.
The exhibit appears courtesy of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, a grant-funded project at the University of Wyoming that tracks big game migrations across the state and shares that information with the public. Major projects include GPS collar research, mapping, outreach, an online migration viewer and the Atlas of Wildlife Migration published in 2018.