Elk NetworkWyoming Biologists Assist Colorado with Elk Calf Study

General | August 13, 2020

Doing what is best for wildlife takes cooperation. Biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department assisted their counterparts at Colorado Parks and Wildlife after several collared cow elk being studied in Colorado crossed into Wyoming.

Colorado is studying neonate survival using vaginal implant transmitters (VITs) and by capturing and collaring calves. VITs are placed within a cows birth canal so when the cow gives birth, the VIT is expelled with the calf. The VIT is paired electronically with the cow’s collar and a signal is sent from the collar to the researchers via satellite when the VIT is expelled so the calf can be collared.

The goal of the research, funded in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, is to help scientists determine why elk recruitment is ailing in portions of Colorado.

Three of the collared elk made their way into Wyoming and birthed calves, including the one pictured near High Savery Reservoir. Biologists also performed standard measurements, including tooth eruption on each calf.

(Photo source:  Wyoming Game and Fish Department)