An evaluation of the movements and distribution of elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

The elk herd that currently inhabits the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (THRO) originated in 1985, when the National Park Service (NPS) translocated 47 animals from Wind Cave National Park. The reintroduction was undertaken to restore a culturally and ecologically important species to its native range, but was initially opposed by the State of North Dakota because area landowners feared that elk might escape the park and cause damage to crops and fences. To alleviate this concern, the NPS agreed to regulate elk numbers at levels that “do not unduly interfere” with livestock grazing or agriculture, and to generally resolve conflicts in favor of existing land uses (Memorandum of Understanding 1540-5-0001). The NPS thus removed >200 live elk from THRO in 1993 and again in 2000 to regulate elk numbers at ~360. Because population control by the NPS did not prevent depredat [see Narratives for more information.]

Principal Investigator(s):

Glen A Sargeant

Project Status:

In Progress

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