Cow Elk Survival, Cause-specific Mortality, Natality, and Neonate Recruitment

Grants and Contracts Details


Elk reintroduced to southeastern Kentucky from 1997-2002 experienced rapid population growth during the subsequent decade and now number an estimated 10,000. The large number of elk released, mild winters, habitat quantity, and very limited predation are thought to be the primary factors responsible for high initial survival and growth rates that mimic irruptive growth patterns observed in other ungulate species. Similarly, calves monitored from 2001-2006 had a 90% survival rate. Maintaining a sustainable annual harvest of elk in Kentucky well into the future will require research and science-based long-term monitoring of the elk population. Herein, a decade after the initial study of reintroduced cow elk in Kentucky, we propose a follow-up study to reassess cow elk survival and cause-specific mortality, as well as survival and recruitment of their elk calves that will serve as an important benchmark for management of the population during the next decade.
Effective start/end date6/29/135/1/15


  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: $54,000.00


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