Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wolves kill three Jackson County, WI elk; 17 still alive

16 hours ago  • 

BLACK RIVER FALLS — Three more elk in Jackson County have been killed by wolves, leaving the herd number at 17.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the three were killed in a recent two-day span.
“It’s always a big disappointment to learn of a mortality given how hard we have worked to restore these majestic animals to the county,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. “However, losses are an expected and unavoidable part of a project like this. Our objective of translocating 75 animals to Jackson County is based on anticipating some initial loss in the foundation herd.”

Twenty-three elk from Kentucky were released in August. Department of Natural Resources biologists are documenting elk movements and survival as they acclimate to Jackson County through the use of satellite and GPS tracking collars. This technology provides department staff with daily location information.

Kentucky and Wisconsin staff and partners are currently in Kentucky trapping elk for the next cohort heading to Jackson County. Kentucky has authorized trapping of up to 50 elk annually as part of a five-year effort to bring 150 elk to Wisconsin.

All elk captured this winter are expected to arrive in Jackson County this spring, and will be released after fulfilling all required health testing, quarantine and acclimation periods. This year’s effort is expected to conclude the Jackson County reintroduction effort — elk trapped in future years will supplement the current Clam Lake area herd.