Study Begins on Survival of Elk Calves in Bitterroot

courtesy of the Missoulian
by Perry Backus, Ravalli Republic

A three-year study to evaluate the factors affecting elk calf survival officially begins this week in the East and West forks of the Bitterroot Valley.

Crews will use a helicopter and net-guns to capture up to 40 elk over the course of the three to four days. Biologists will evaluate their condition and pregnancy rates, and then attach radio collars before releasing them.

The study hopes to unlock the mystery of why elk calf survival rates have been declining in the Bitterroot Valley since 2004.

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