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

Wyoming Project


Monitoring Elk Migrations with Remote Photography

April 2013 - December 2018


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Wyoming Wildlife - The Foundation
  • Wyoming Community Foundation (WGBGLC)
  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department
  • Yale University
A large herd of elk pass by this camera site on their way to low elevation winter habitat near Cody, WY. Herd composition data from camera traps could offer a cost effective, and less risky alternative.

Most elk population estimates are based largely on data collected from aerial classification surveys. Although aerial surveys are an excellent source of data, they are costly and dangerous. Recent wildlife underpass projects and pilot projects to monitor migratory elk populations suggest there may be potential to obtain accurate estimate of annual elk trend from digital cameras as animals move through migration bottlenecks during their spring and fall migrations. This project is evaluating the use of remote cameras to monitor population dynamics and migration patterns of elk in northwest Wyoming.