Predation on Jackson elk
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
March 30, 2009
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that the ration of elk calves to cows is nearly twice as high for elk located on private property in the Jackson region.
Here's what WG&F said in a press release about the issue:
Wildlife managers believe the population of the Jackson elk herd is similar to those in past years, numbering around 12,000 animals. "We actually counted fewer animals this year, but that is likely due to the fact that we’ve had less snow this winter and animals were spread out over a larger area," said Doug Brimeyer, Jackson wildlife biologist for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
In addition to total numbers, the number of calves counted per 100 cows is another piece of information managers collect to measure of the health of big game herds. Wildlife managers recorded an average of 27 calves per 100 cows in the Jackson herd this year. This is just slightly above the 20-year average for the herd, which is 25 calves per 100 cows.
However, managers did point out that surveys conducted in August of 2008 showed a disparity in the calf numbers from the northern portion of the herd to the southern. "Calf:cow ratios in the southern portion of the herd unit in southern Grand Teton National Park and on private lands south of the airport approached 50 calves:100 cows," said Brimeyer. "It’s possible predation could be a factor in that disparity, with less predation occurring further south where the landscape tends to be more developed."
To learn more about the proposed 2009 big game hunting seasons, plan to attend one of the upcoming WG&F season setting meetings scheduled in the region:
Tuesday, March 31, 7-9 p.m., Jackson, Antler Motel,
Wednesday, April 1, 7-9 p.m., Pinedale, WG&F office.