Abstract - Evaluating Techniques to Monitor Elk Movement Across Fence Lines

Bauman, Peter J., Jenks, Jonathon A. and Roddy, Daniel E. 1999. Evaluating Techniques to Monitor Elk Movement Across Fence Lines. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27. pp. 344-352.


Wind Cave National Park (WICA) was established in 1903 in the southern Black Hills (Lovaas 1973). Manitoban elk (Cervus elaphus) were native to the Wind Cave area, but were extirpated during settlement of the West (Varland et al. 1978, Thomas and Toweill 1982, Rice 1988). From 1911 to 1916, the National Biological Survey made several small reintroductions of Rocky Mountain elk into the park (Lovaas 1973, Bauman 1997). Since the reintroductions, elk management has been a high priority for WICA managers. The close proximity of logging, cattle grazing, hunting, and roads in Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) and private land s adjacent to WICA may result in non-park elk using the park as a refuge to avoid disturbances, especially during hunting seasons (Schultz and Bailey 1978, Basile and Lonner 1979, Picton 1980, Edge and Marcum 1985, Witmer and deCalesta 1985, Czech 1991). During autumn and winter, elk numbers in the park may exceed the 1984 established herd maximum of 350-500 elk. If large numbers of BHNF elk are using the park as a refuge, the vegetation base may suffer (Lovaas 1973), competition with other herbivores may increase (Wydeven and Dahlgren 1985), and hunting opportunities outside the park may be limited (Rice 1988). Our objective was to evaluate methods to monitor elk movement across fence lines between WICA and BHNF.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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