Study: Elk Survival Rates Increasing in North Idaho

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New, ongoing research indicates that elk calves are doing fairly well in Idaho’s Panhandle region.

“We found that cows have a high survival rate; since 2014 when we began the study, the annual cow survival rate has been 94 percent,” said Barb McCall, Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist. “In the Panhandle, once an animal reaches one year of age, survival seems to be consistently high, even under different winter conditions.”

Biologists placed collars on elk to track movement as well as mortality. They are monitored from six months of age until one year old.

Data also indicates calf survival following the mild winters of 2015 and 2016 was 80 percent compared to 50 percent following this past winter.

Biologists are also tallying information to determine the cause of death of those animals that did not survive.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)