There’s a noticeable downtick in the number of elk in Bow Valley on the southern end of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. The 2021 count tallied 171 elk, the second lowest number since the process began in 1985.
“Over the last five years, our numbers have been slowly dropping off. We’re watching it, but it’s still not a concern,” Blair Fyten, Banff National Park human-wildlife conflict specialist, told Lakeland Today. “We have to remember that wildlife populations are always fluctuating and dynamic due to several different reasons.”
Fyten says predation by wolves and mountain lions continues to have an impact on the local elk population combined with natural disease and a few other factors.
On the upside, the cow-calf ratio increased from 27 percent in 2020 to 29 percent in 2021.
(Photo credit: Parks Canada Banff National Park)