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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Seasonal Home Ranges, Movements, and Habitat Selection of Female Elk in Northwestern Minnesota

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AUTHORS: Alicia E Freeman, Minnesota State University - Mankato; Gino J D'Angelo, School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia; Louis J Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; John D. Krenz, Minnesota State University - Mankato

ABSTRACT: Home ranges and habitat selection for North American elk (Cervus elaphus) have been studied extensively, but such studies have never been undertaken in Minnesota. Currently, approximately 130 free-ranging elk can be found in 4 sub-groups in northwestern Minnesota. Our project will provide foundational ecological data on the movement ecology, landscape-level habitat use, and selection of fine-scale habitat features by adult female elk in northwestern Minnesota. This presentation will focus on habitat selection preferences of elk by examining their selection of fine-scale structural habitat features. We placed Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on 20 adult female elk in northwestern Minnesota in February 2016. Using hourly locations taken by these collars from May 2016 through July 2016, we selected known locations, and generated random locations, within sampling areas that we created on a weekly basis. These areas were created using Minimum Convex Polygons (MCP) surrounding each of the 4 sub-groups of elk. At the known and random locations, we took fine-scale habitat measurements to characterize the amount and type of cover that female elk select during the summer growing season. We will use Resource Selection Functions (RSF) to describe the habitat characteristics that are most important to female elk during this time period. This research will provide valuable information to wildlife managers in the region to improve management practices for elk in northwestern Minnesota.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (4)