Smokies elk get new tracking collars

out elkBiologists will get a boost in monitoring Smokies elk populations, thanks to a $13,720 grant Friends of the Smokies received from Charter Communications, Inc. The grant money purchased 15 radio collars and two receivers to track and monitor the large mammals. 

After more than a century of absence, elk were reintroduced to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001. Today, the herd numbers at least 120 animals. This donation helps provide much-needed collars to fit the calves and five adult females per year along with any nuisance animals.

Information gained from the use of radio telemetry equipment has been vital in making short and long-term management decisions regarding bears, elk and bats within the Park, and continues to be an integral part of ongoing wildlife monitoring and management efforts.

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