Camera will provide elk’s point of view

What does an elk eat?

Researchers on July 1 placed a collar on a cow elk on Pennsylvania’s elk range. Purchased with funds from the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, the collar has GPS tracking capability and contains a camera that will record video and audio. The information will be used by biologists and habitat managers to benefit elk.

The research initiative is a product of a partnership between the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization headquartered at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette.

The Game Commission actively manages wildlife habitat throughout Pennsylvania, and within the state’s 3,500-square-mile elk-management area. Habitat quality directly influences elk pregnancy rates, survival, calf recruitment and the distribution of elk.

Projects to improve or create high-quality habitat also are used to mitigate elk-human conflicts and hunter-related elk mortality. By making lands more inviting to elk, elk aren’t as likely to turn up in less ideal areas.

Traditional studies on the types of habitat elk prefer have provided both biologists and land managers with information needed to create high-quality elk habitat. However, a complete understanding of the elk’s habitat selection requires an examination at the finest scale.

Previously, the Game Commission wasn’t able to collect that information.

Researchers placed the collar on an adult cow elk that not only will record her locations through GPS technology, but also will record video shot by a camera housed within the collar.