ESRF Elk Study

The Environmental Science and Research Foundation conducted a study to track the movement of elk on and near the INL to determine their seasonal and daily movement patterns and their selection of different habitat types and to study the effects of elk depredation on farm and range land adjacent to INL.  In March 1998, the Foundation captured 17 elk and fitted them with radio collars.  Another 6 elk were captured and fitted in January 1999.  The map below tracks the radio-collared elk movement from March 1998 to August 1999.



Capture Location

Southwest INL Center INL Lemhi Mountains South Central INL
Number Captured 5 5 5 2
Died 2 - Harvested by hunters in the Big Desert/Unit 50 area during fall of 1998 0 0 2 - One road-kill on I-15 north of Blackfoot.  One fell in a lava crevice south of INL.
Lost 2 0 0 0
Remaining 5 5 0
Migration Pattern Summered well south and west of the INL.  Remaining elk returned to the INL in late January 1999. Stayed on INL the entire summer, moving to the northeastern side of the site during mid-summer.  Some elk visited nearby farm lands at night.  In fall of 1998, the elk returned to the center of INL.  One spent summer on INL, then went to the Beaverhead Mountains due north of INL, in the fall.

One stayed in southwest foothills of Lemhis the entire study and is known to depredate crops.

Two spent summer in the mountains and came on site lands during the falls.

One stayed in the mountains.