User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


54° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Some Wind Cave Elk May Need To Be Shot

July 21, 2013, 10:02 PM by Derek Olson

Some Wind Cave Elk May Need To Be Shot
HOT SPRINGS, SD -

For nearly a decade, biologists at Wind Cave National Park have tracked elk movement through radio collars.  While most collars are automatically released from the animals, some get hung up and elk must be shot to retrieve them.

There is an abundance of elk at the park. In fact, Wind Cave's elk population last winter was more than 900, even though the target is between 300-400.

"We brought in two helicopters and we chased about 389 elk from here, inside Wind Cave National Park into Custer State Park," Wind Cave National Park Biological Science Technician Duane Weber said.

In February, close to three-dozen elk were fitted with GPS-tracking radio collars, helping park officials better manage the population. It's found around 100 elk have returned.

"It took them about three months to find a spot where they could worry the fence enough so they they could slip through," Weber said.

The collars have a two-year life span and many are ready to be retrieved. While they're supposed to automatically unhook, some do not.

"We've radio collared over 300 elk with these GPS radio collars, and to date we've only had eight fail. So that's about a 2-3 percent failure rate on those collars," Wind Cave National Park Resource Management Chief Greg Schroeder said.

The radio collars that are used to track the elk cost upward of $2,500. But the real value is held in the information that they gather.

"All of the location data from that animal is stored on board with that collar, so if we don't get that collar back we get absolutely no data from that collar, whatsoever," Weber.

If the collars do fail, park officials will attempt to sedate the animals with tranquilizer darts. When that doesn't work, the animals are shot. But even in death, the elk still are used to help the herd.

"And at that point, we salvage every tissue and sample that we can and send it in to our diagnostic laboratory with our wildlife veterinarians down at Colorado State," Schroeder said.

Since the program began in 2005, a total of eight elk have had to be shot to retrieve the radio collars. The information gathered since then has helped park officials form their Elk Management Plan.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Woman Killed In Sioux Falls Home

4/16/2014 6:01 PM

Sioux Falls police are investigating a murder in the southwest part of the city.

Full Story
SF Murder Victim Stabbed, Suspect Got Pills

4/17/2014 10:12 AM

Sioux Falls Police have released the names of the suspect and victim in the city's second homicide of 2014.

Full Story
Missing Girls Case Update On Tuesday

4/15/2014 7:15 AM

Authorities plan to release an update on the investigation into the 1971 disappearance of two South Dakota girls.

Full Story
Remains Found In Car Are Missing Girls

4/15/2014 1:39 PM

After more than 40 years, the families of two missing teenage girls now know what happened to them.

Full Story
Evidence From Car Led Authorities To Cold Case Conclusion

4/16/2014 11:35 AM

A more than 40-year-old cold case has been closed after South Dakota authorities announced on Tuesday the remains found in an old Studebaker submerged...

Full Story


Events

 
 
KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED