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UAM Graduate Student Presents Rocky Mountain Elk Study

Brittany Pickett
Staff Writer

   Between 1981 and 1985, the Arkansas region received 112 Rocky Mountain Elk. The introduction of the new elk was an effort to bring them back into the area. Since then, there has been only one study on cow - elk ecology.  

   Nov. 30, the School of Forest Resources at the University of Arkansas at Monticello held a graduate seminar series entitled “Annual Home-Range Size of Bull Elk in the Ozark Mountains.” 

   Graduate student, Nicole Peterson presented the seminar, which she has worked on for the last three years. She spoke about the efforts to help improve the study of the bull elk in Arkansas.  

   According to Peterson, initiation of the project originally occurred between 1999 and 2001 because of the significant decreases in the number of bulls per 100 cows. 

   Her objectives for the study included, “determining the age, class and specific annual home-range sizes of bull elk and if a difference occurs in the annual home-range size among the bull age classes.”  

   With the study, they surveyed the home-range size, which indicates the area where the animal carries out its daily activity. 

   One of the ways to accomplish the findings included the use of Global Positioning Systems and Very High Frequency.  

   They used the technology to track the elk bi-weekly during the daylight hours from April 2003 through April 2006. Throughout the two sessions conducted during that period, 54 bulls were fitted with GPS or VHF collars.  

   According to Peterson, the current population of bull elk consists of about 400 to 450.  

   Becca Booker came as part of the faculty of the graduate program and said she holds a strong interest in wild life ecology.

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ŠThe Voice 2006
01/13/2008 03:27:25 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_12/elk.htm