Elk are the most abundant large mammal found in Yellowstone with an estimated 10,000-20,000 elk in the park. The elk herds in Yellowstone have a deep conservation history, explains Dan Stahler, lead biologist for the project. “They are the heart of the large mammal food web. They are the meat source for all of Yellowstone’s large carnivores and lie at the heart of the mammalian ecosystem.”
Stahler and his team plan to launch a new program to study elk calf survival to better understand and answer elk dynamics on the landscape and how elk respond to multiple carnivores: bears, wolves, cougars, human hunters; what causes them to live or die; how many elk make it to adulthood.