Elk NetworkRMEF Supports Central Colorado Elk Research

General | March 7, 2024

Biologists and game managers want to get a better handle on elk populations in central Colorado so they recently captured and placed GPS collars on 60 of them in Chaffee and Lake Counties. Data from nearby studies show elk get around.

“(In the summer) sometimes we see a little bit of further migrations. Some may travel 50-100 miles. Because that’s just what they’ve learned. In South Park, we put collars on elk in the southern part of South Park; they ended up by Copper Mountain and I-70. That’s a pretty big movement,” Bryan Lamont, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologist, told The Mountain Mail.

The study is a collaborative effort supported by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, among others. In addition to migratory movements, researchers will learn about habitat use, predator-prey relationships and the impact of human activity on elk.

“There are just more and more people and more and more development and more and more recreation. We’re trying to make sure we have the best available data to manage (elk) populations,” Lamont told The Mountain Mail.

Dating back to 1987, RMEF and its partners completed 871 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Colorado with a combined value of more than $207.4 million. These projects conserved or enhanced 508,739 acres of habitat and opened or improved public access to 119,612 acres.

(Photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)