Wild About Elk is part of Project Wild, which is administered by the Council for Environmental Education and is co-sponsored by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Project Wilds mission is to provide teachers with information and motivation to develop, and present an environmental curriculum for students ranging from kindergarten through high school. It is also geared toward informal environmental educators such as those who give presentations to sportsman clubs and civic organizations, or participate in outdoor blogging and video production.
|PGC Elk Biologist Jon Di Berti Explains Radio Collars: Photo by W.Hill|
PGC Elk Biologist, Jon De Berti was the first speaker and presented an excellent power-point presentation, which dealt with general information about the herd, research, and monitoring of the population. Mr Di Berti made two points, which validated much of what I have been saying on this blog.
- We need to manage for trophy bulls. Too many bulls are being taken at or before 5 1/2 years of age and not enough are living to reach their full potential.
|A Monster Bull In Pre-hunt Era- Video Still by W.Hill|
|Acclimated Bull February 2002: Photo-W.Hill|
- Population estimates are far from an exact science. "There is 95% confidence that our elk population is somewhere from about 450 animals, to just over 1,000 animals."
According to Carol Mulvihill, writing in the June 19, 2010 edition of Endeavor News, "the herd is smaller than the 700-plus elk population that existed before hunting began in 2001." Ms Mulvihill then goes on to make the point that it may be time to let the herd grow to 800-1,200 animals. I recall that this was the plan when the trap and transfer program was taking place during the late 1990s, but this figure seemed to vanish from discussion when trap and transfer was discontinued due to resistance from landowners. Still the elk have naturally spread over a larger area and it seems that the herd could be allowed to increase to those numbers without putting undue pressure on the habitat or the inhabitants of Pennsylvania's Elk Country.
Original content posted at http://pawildlifephotographer.blogspot.com/