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Elk Populations and DAU E-2

This presentation outlines how elk populations are managed, discusses management practices in Colorado DAU E-2 and discusses the effectiveness of management practices.

Jonathan Miller

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Elk Populations and DAU E-2

Elk Population Management Working on understanding our relationship to the environment Why Do We Manage Elk Herds? A Tale of 2 Myths Myth #1
Elk Will Naturally Overpopulate As it turns out Large mammals tend to reach
fairly sustainable population sizes

Small mammals have oscillating
population cycles. Myth #2
Hunters fill the role of predators As it turn out Natural predators tend to prey on the weak members of the herd. Humans tend to harvest the largest, strongest members of the herd. Legitimate reasons to manage elk populations 1)To manage human behavior 2) Future Generations 3) Promote ecosystem health and biodiversity So how does the Colorado Department of Wildlife manage populations? Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3 Management for Maximum Opportunity and Economic Benefits Limit landowner conflicts
Maximum opportunity
Achieve optimal bull:cow ratio Manage for Improved Experience and Reduced Impacts Decrease hunting presure
Permit focus on Females Manage for Quality Animals and Quality Experience Age management for ideal animals
Bulls are seen as more valuable Bull:Cow Ratios Ratios effect harems size Harem size affect reproduction rates Ratios
19-20 Bulls per 100 cows = harems of 17.9
60+ Bulls per 100 cows = Harems of 5.4 Maximum Sustainable Yield Not in use...but relevant Data Analysis Unity E-2 Region Statistics Up until 1975 population of ~10,000 Population rose to ~37,000 Sustainable population 16,500 Drastic measures Between 2000-2008
133,794 liscenses issued
52,000 elk harvested
Population remains the 2nd largest migratory herd in US
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