Elk Study Includes Wolf Impact

December 19, 2006

by Ruffin Prevost

“CODY – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will embark next month on an ambitious four-year study of elk movement and migration that will include tracking wolves and their impact on elk.

The Absaroka Elk Ecology Project, budgeted at around $450,000, will gather information about the Clarks Fork elk herd unit, and might answer some questions biologists have about why elk are faring differently in neighboring regions around Cody.

Doug McWhirter, a biologist with Game and Fish, is one of the project’s principal investigators. He expects information from the study to help in setting elk hunting seasons and limits, defining elk habitats, improving management efforts on private lands and mitigating the impact of wolf predation on elk herds.

‘Through our population monitoring efforts, we’re seeing some things we don’t fully understand,” McWhirter said. “We need to collect information to determine what is going on.'”

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