Biologist: Elk Doing Well on Washington’s Southern Olympic Peninsula

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Ongoing research on Washington’s southern Olympic Peninsula shows Roosevelt elk are doing well. Researchers with the Skokomish Tribe use radio collars to monitor eight different herds.

“Most herds have been pretty consistent in size,” Bethany Ackerman, Skokomish Valley wildlife management biologist, told Northwest Treaty Tribes. “The Skokomish Valley herd has grown a lot in the last 10 years. They’ve made a habit of spending most of their time on private agricultural land where they don’t get disturbed, so that is likely contributing to the growth.”

The Skokomish Tribe started tracking elk in 2008. At the time, the estimated population was about 150. Today it numbers more than 300.

Research allows biologists to determine herd growth. They are also keeping an eye out for hoof rot disease.

Read more about the study here.

(Photo source: Steve Parsons)