Learning More About Nebraska’s Elk Herd

Posted Monday July 24, 2017 by wf_admin

Once native to the state, for the past 40 years elk have been moving out of South Dakota’s Black Hills and back into Nebraska, establishing a resident elk herd in the state. In an effort to learn more about elk roaming northwestern Nebraska, Wildlife Forever joined a study in the Pine Ridge region, an area consisting of ponderosa pine forests, sandstone cliffs, ranchlands, and agricultural lands. The University of Nebraska conducted the research by determining the elk’s size, health, preferred forage, distribution, movement, and seasonal habitat use by using radio telemetry. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is utilizing the data to aid in elk management. Because of their growth, the elk have caused damage to private agricultural and ranching lands. The data is playing a key role in ensuring that future management activities are in the best interest of the elk, the landowners, and the public.