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Biologists to study elk, wolves via GPS collars


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Biologists to study elk, wolves via GPS collars
Author: Auntie P.
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Date Joined: 7/15/2006
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Edited On by Auntie P.


Dozens of cow elk and two wolves have been equipped with GPS collars as part of a study that could provide important information on the big game animal and its interaction with predators.

Biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the University of Montana attached the collars to 44 elk captured with net guns and tranquilizer darts fired from a helicopter this month.

“It’s rare to get the opportunity in a single watershed to do a comprehensive study like this,” Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Craig Jourdonnais said. “People are excited about how comprehensive it is. Nationwide, there are a lot of sportsmen groups interested in big game. They know they need solid data to effectively manage big game populations. They’ve been willing to support this project.”

He said the study, expected to last through 2013, should show how elk are using the landscape and the pressures they face in the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River.

Some say wolves are to blame, and the study could determine whether that’s accurate.

"We want to know what’s going on there," said Blake Henning, the foundation’s vice president of lands and conservation. "Credible science is something that we’re very much interested in, especially the interaction between large predators and elk."

The study could eventually help biologists and federal officials better understand the interaction of big game and predators, information that could be used to make wildlife management decisions.

"Everyone gripes about wolves and the impact they are having on elk here in the valley," said Tony Jones, president of the Ravalli County Fish and Game Association. "Opinion is not enough. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service isn’t going to just take the word of anyone living in the Bitterroot."

source

Confused

EDIT:  5-minute youtube video of the process.  Apparently, the filming of this study will become part of a documentary.  Described as "an action filled video of a New Zealand elk capturing crew net-gunning elk in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana.  You will also see a pack of gray wolves during the netting operation.  This capture is part of a study conducted by MFWP on the population decline in this valley..."  

"Net Gunning Elk from a Helicopter - SEE WOLVES TOO!!! HD"

FYI:  The pack of gray wolves you will see are so far away that I wouldn't have been able to tell they were wolves.  The film has to point them out with a circle and highlight.

IMO:  I feel this is traumatic for the wildlife involved.  How accurate can a study be if the subjects are stressed?  Not only from the capturing but "State biologists plan to conduct 3 or 4 flights a month to check."  Ungulate populations fluctuate and there is science to explain it.  Perhaps it is the wolf advocate in me that makes me skeptical about its purpose.  Montana's petition to hunt and kill 12 wolves in the Bitterroot is pending authorization from the USFWS in a few weeks.  The study won't be complete until 2013. 

 



 

Author: Nakoowolf
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Date Joined: 5/21/2004
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How many studies can they do?  Confused

I like your new Avatar. Isn't she just too cute?  I was a cuddlin her big time tonight after din-din.  She was chewin on my hood string.  Naughty but loverly.Love



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Author: Auntie P.
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Total Posts: 11361
Date Joined: 7/15/2006
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Nakoowolf Says:

How many studies can they do?  Confused

I like your new Avatar. Isn't she just too cute?  I was a cuddlin her big time tonight after din-din.  She was chewin on my hood string.  Naughty but loverly.Love


Naughty but loverly.Smile  Thank you, Nakoowolf.  She is adorable.  BGL said about her in that pictures, "that's the cutest d*m thing I ever saw."Love  I agree.  Cuddle her a little for us, too.Partying

 

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