Scott Ratchford, a Wildlife Technician with the Biological Resource Division at the National Park Service explains why there is a large collar sitting on his desk.
What is it?
It is a Radio Telemetry Collar for elk. We are studying chronic wasting disease (CWD) in elk at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), where CWD is found in both elk and deer. CWD is a prion disease that occurs in deer, moose, and elk, and we use these collars to track the elk we test for the disease. This particular collar belonged to a study elk that died after being hit by a car, and did not have CWD. From the data produced in this study, we hope to determine the prevalence of CWD in elk within RMNP herds, which direction CWD prevalence might be trending, and what kind of population-level effects CWD is having on elk in RMNP.
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