The BC Government says they’re taking action to support the recovery of Rocky Mountain elk.
A recent inventory shows its populations have dropped by 32% since the last inventory was taken in 2008.
Provincial wildlife biologist Patrick Stent says it’s unclear why their numbers have dropped so drastically the past few years.
“But there are several factors that are definitely important that are impacting elk population. Recently we’ve seen an increase in predator numbers, which is probably impacting calf recruitment, and also we’ve had a couple severe winters.”
Stent says they’re trying to bring elk numbers back to the government’s target number.
“So our population target is about 10,000 elk, and following our inventory we’re at about 6,700. So we would like to see elk get back to around 10,000.”
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says they’ll start incorporating inventory results into an updated regional elk management plan.
The government also plans to complete habitat selection analysis, contribute funds to a research project to investigate population change and work with licensees, First Nations and stakeholders to revise standards for timber harvesting on elk winter ranges.
– Patrick Stent – Provincial Wildlife Biologist