Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists and wildlife officers launched a five-year elk collaring study to obtain data that will help to better manage the Clear Creek elk herd.
Biologists will deploy more than 40 GPS satellite collars on cow elk across the herd’s range to better understand elk movements, reproductive rates, migration patterns and habitat use.
“This project will help inform local management decisions. What we’ve noticed in the last couple of years is that elk are spending more time on open space and golf courses,” said Ben Kraft, CPW biologist. “This project will help develop management strategies at both the local and herd level. Determining when and where elk occur and how many will there are is the first step in mitigating some of the issues CPW and land managers and owners are currently experiencing.”
Capture work will be accomplished with helicopters and ground darting and trapping. The location information from the GPS collars will help inform wildlife managers of possible management strategies related to herd management plan objectives and habitat use. Elk locations will also aid land management agencies in land use planning decisions.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding to assist with the project.
(Photo source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)