Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Colorado
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Colorado Project

Rocky Mountain Elk Recruitment & Habitat

November 2018 - March 2022


Participating Agencies

  • RMEF
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus) is an iconic species, with a high recreational value to hunters, photographers, artists, and other wildlife enthusiasts. Although recruitment in elk is naturally variable, over the last 10 years recruitment has declined in some populations within Colorado, due to unknown causes. An assessment is needed on the timing of the loss of calves between parturition and the following winter, and identification of the cause(s), including predators, habitat quality, and anthropogenic factors. This project is a collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Results from this study will be used to inform Colorado Parks and Wildlife management decisions for mitigating this decline.