Monday, March 7, 2011

Idaho F&G collaring, tracking elk

Collaring elk and tracking their movements is part of a plan by Idaho Fish and Game to help biologists better understand elk and wolf interactions, including how many elk and what age structure of elk succumb to wolves in the St. Joe River drainage of North Idaho.
So far, the department has collared 21 cow elk - most of them from the Avery, Idaho area, according to Idaho Fish and Game.
"We’ve started a project to collar elk in the St. Joe in order to get a better handle on the extent of wolf predation on elk in that area," Jim Hayden, North Idaho's regional biologist, said.
The remainder were caught using a corral-type trap set up near Calder. 
"Our hope is to have 25 collared elk per year over the next 4 years," Hayden said. 
The department will follow the elk monthly, mapping seasonal migrations as well as survival. 
"We did a similar project in the Joe in the late 1990s, giving a solid comparison of how things have changed since then," he said.

The department's annual spring public meetings are this week:

Wednesday:       IDFG Office, 7 to 9 PM
Thursday:          Sandpoint Fairgrounds Building, 7 to 9 PM
Saturday:           Eagles Hall 8 AM

The Commission meeting for setting the 2011 big game seasons is Thursday, March 30th in Boise.  A public meeting will be held the evening of the 29th for further public input on seasons statewide.

-Ralph Bartholdt 

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