Panhandle elk survival study uses GPS collars and email

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Panhandle elk survival study uses GPS collars, email

Panhandle elk biologists have started tagging and collaring elk in Units 4, 6 and 7. Capture work will be conducted as weather permits in the Silver Valley, the North Fork Coeur díAlene and St. Joe rivers.

The department plans to use nets or darts shot from helicopters to catch 60 cow and calf elk and fit them with radio collars to monitor their survival rates and movements.

If the targeted numbers are achieved, there will be a total of 180 elk on the ground wearing collars in the project that is in its fifth year.

The GPS collars record the animalís location twice per day. The location, time, and other pertinent data are transmitted to a satellite and biologistsí email.

The study plan monitors survival rates, habitat use, seasonal movements, and causes of elk mortality. Since the study began in 2014, the annual cow survival rate has been 94 percent.

Lewis-Clark Naturalist Chapter seeks new members

Anyone interested in becoming a certified naturalist can attend a course sponsored by Idaho Fish and Gameís Lewiston office.

The Idaho Master Naturalist Program develops well-informed volunteers to help educate a public interested in nature, participate in, or guide conservation efforts, or help with fish and wildlife research projects, as well as teach the public about the importance of conservation.

A certified Master Naturalist completes 40 hours of hands-on, experiential classroom and field training about Idaho ecology, plants, animals and natural systems. Participants also complete 40 hours of volunteer work for local conservation agencies; hours can be divided between agencies such as IDFG, U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Idaho State Parks.

Contact Jen Bruns 208-799-5010, or Dave Eberle, Chapter President, eberledave@cableone.net to learn more about the Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalist Program. Meetings are Jan. 10, Feb. 7 and 21, from 6-8 p.m. at the Idaho Fish and Game office on 16th Street in the Lewiston Orchards.

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