Latest News from Sul Ross Feb. 5, 2013

News from February 5, 2013 Pronghorn moved to Trans-Pecos



 Ready for ride

A trailered pronghorn awaits a ride from the Panhandle to its new habitat near Marathon. A total of 130 pronghorn were captured and translocated during a week-long project headed by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Sul Ross State University's Borderlands Research Institute. (Photo by Steve Lang)

Attaching radio collar

Sul Ross graduate student Justin Hoffman, Bowie, attaches a radio collar to a captured pronghorn. The collar will enable researchers to monitor pronghorn movement on an hourly basis. (Photo by Steve Lang)


by Steve Lang, News and Publications

Translocation of pronghorn to the Trans-Pecos continued last week, with 130 animals released in the Marathon area.

Sul Ross State University and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) personnel, along with numerous volunteers, participated in a helicopter net gun capture of pronghorn near Dalhart.

Aerial delivery

Captured pronghorn are gently lowered to the ground after a net gun capture. A total of 130 pronghorn were captured in the Panhandle and translocated to the Trans-Pecos. (Photo by Steve Lang)


The relocation process was coordinated by the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross, Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Working Group, USDA-Wildlife Services and TPWD to help alleviate a surplus of pronghorn in the northwestern Panhandle and to restore declining populations in the Trans-Pecos.

Two hundred pronghorn were captured in 2011and released on ranches near Marfa. The mortality rate approached 80 percent, largely due to prolonged drought conditions. The 2013 relocation/release near Marathon occurred under significantly improved conditions.

During the next year, the BRI and TPWD will monitor the pronghorn to ascertain survival, reproductive productivity, fawn survival and movements. "This area had favorable precipitation during the summer, as well as good winter moisture," said Shawn Gray, TPWD pronghorn program leader. "We also spent six months working to prepare release sites, including fence modifications and predator management, all with the cooperation of the landowners.

"The pronghorn were released into very good habitat,with access to all areas because of fence modifications and excellent water availability and distribution," Gray said.

At the capture site, workers took each animal's temperature to monitor stress, along with blood, tissue and feces samples for disease surveillance. The pronghorns also received a mild sedative and other injections to minimize stress related to capture and transport. Ear tags were attached, and 59 of the captured pronghorn were fitted with radio collars to monitor movements. The collars will provide one location per hour.

Additional procedures included giving a sample of the animals various medicines and inserting small vaginal implant transmitters to pregnant does. Vaginal implant transmitters will provide additional reproductive data, including fawning success.

Dr. Louis Harveson, BRI director and Sul Ross professor of Natural Resource Management, said that animals will be evaluated again in 45 days and 150 days to determine if the pronghorn are carrying "barber pole" worms that commonly infect the species.

After processing, the pronghorn were transported by trailer to the Marathon sites. "The pronghorn were in excellent shape and traveled really well," said Harveson.

Several Sul Ross students are involved in the research project. Justin Hoffman, Bowie, will be in charge of monitoring the radio-collared pronghorn. Daniel Tidwell, Sachse, will be monitoring pregnant does to evaluate fawning sites and fawn survival as a McNair Research Program project. Justin French , Ingram, will monitor pronghorn diets, habitats and the nutritional plane of the translocated pronghorn.

For more information, contact Harveson, (432) 837-8098 or




Due to cost considerations, Sul Ross State University has discontinued summer commencement exercises. Summer ceremonies were held in August on the Sul Ross-Alpine Campus.

"Although there will no longer be a summer graduation ceremony, students completing their degree requirements in August still will be allowed to graduate in August and must follow the regular application schedule for summer degree completion," said Dr. Quint Thurman, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. "Accordingly, their diplomas will be mailed within two weeks after the end of the second summer session provided all degree requirements are successfully completed." 

Students who anticipate completing all graduation requirements in the summer are encouraged to participate in the May or December ceremonies, Thurman said. Depending on which graduation ceremony summer graduates prefer to attend, they will need to notify their college for inclusion in the desired ceremony.

For more information, contact Thurman, (432) 837-8036.




Sul Ross State University faculty member Dr. Donald Callen Freed published a book review in the February issue of Choral Journal.

Freed, Sul Ross professor of Music, reviewed, "A Place in the Choir," by John Jacobson, published by Hal Leonard Books.

For more information, contact Freed, (432) 837-8216 or




  The 27th annual Trappings of Texas Custom Cowboy Gear and Western Art Exhibit, will open Feb. 22-23 at the Museum of the Big Bend on the Sul Ross State University campus.

Trappings features some of the best cowboy gear and fine western art in the longest-running event of its kind in the country. Proceeds from Trappings of Texas -- the museum’s only fundraiser – support not only future Trappings events but also the museum’s many exhibits and educational programs throughout the year.

Trappings of Texas will kick off with the preview party for sponsors and artists on Friday, Feb. 22. This is an exclusive event for sponsors and buyers to have a first look at the exhibit and sale. No sales are conducted on Friday night; however sponsors and buyers may pre-register for the sale.

"A major component to the Trappings event revenues come from our underwriters and sponsors through our Trappings of Texas Sponsor Program,"said Museum director Liz Jackson.

On Saturday night, Feb. 23, the museum will open its doors for the Trappings opening sale and reception from 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling (432) 837-8143

"Much of the success of Trappings is due in large part to our Trappings sponsors," said Jackson. "The Trappings Sponsorship program is key to allowing us to put on an upscale event and exhibit that will attract both the buyers, artists, and visitors."

Each year, the museum prides itself in creating the "sponsor package" for their sponsors. At various levels, the sponsor will receive an impressive array of limited edition Trappings of Texas gifts and tickets in a unique and fun container.

For more information on how to become a sponsor, contact Jackson at (432) 837-8143 or

For more information, contact the Museum of the Big Bend on the campus of Sul Ross State University by calling (432) 837-8143 or by visiting or Facebook.


Congressman Gallego's staff visits Sul Ross

Members of U.S. Rep. Pete P. Gallego's staff met with Sul Ross State University administrators last Wednesday (Jan. 30) to discuss higher education issues and to tour the campus. Pictured (seated from left) are: staff member Rebecca Acuna; Denise Groves, vice president for Enrollment Management; Yvonne Realivasquez, assistant to the President; staff member Claudia Urrabazo. Standing: Cesario Valenzuela, vice president for Finance and Operations; staff member Mike Pacheco; Dr. Quint Thurman, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs;  Chandragupta Gudena, chief information officer, Office of Information Technology; Leo Dominguez, dean of Student Life; staff member Brian Powell. (Photo by Steve Lang)