A study, funded in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which tracked more than 40 elk over three and a half years is nearing an end in the Elkhorn Mountains of southwest Montana. It’s designed to determine how elk respond to beetle-killed trees.
“The reduction in canopy cover, closed canopy cover has the potential to impact security for elk and make them overall less likely to use these areas,” Kelly Proffitt, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist, told KFBB-TV.
Proffitt also said despite beetle infestation up to 90 percent in places, their presence did not negatively impact the amount of quality of forage for elk.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)