Elk movements and distribution at Wind Cave National Park: implications for population control and CWD management

In 1997, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was discovered in a captive elk herd occupying lands adjacent to Wind Cave National Park (WICA). In 2000, WICA became the first National Park outside the endemic area of Colorado and Wyoming to confirm the presence of CWD in a wild elk. Prior to 1997, elk numbers at WICA were controlled by periodically translocating excess animals to other sites. Termination of the control program in 1997 to prevent the spread of CWD is likely to result in high elk densities, with undesirable consequences for other park resources, relations with neighboring landowners, and the incidence and spread of CWD. Due to anticipated effects of growing elk populations at WICA and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the NPS has identified elk population management as one of the highest priority concerns for the Central region. To deal with these issues the NPS has begun prepa [see Narratives for more information.]

Principal Investigator(s):

Glen A Sargeant

Project Status:

In Progress

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