Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

17  Texas A&M University-Kingsville  (84311)

Principal Investigator: Cherry, M.

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 106,246

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): No

Start and End Dates: 5/1/20 - 2/29/24

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research

Department, Center, School, or Institute: Agricultural Sciences

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Estimating Elk Abundance and Herd Demographics in Virginia

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Virginia Tech University / Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

Program Title: none


SAMS 1.1.1 Many of the goals stated in the Virginia Elk Management Plan require assessment of herd abundance and demographics. Careful monitoring of populations is especially important when managers seek to balance finely controlled harvests (e.g. harvesting only 6 males per year) with other sources of mortality. For example, Keller et al. (2015) found that even minimal harvest of adult males in a small herd could inhibit reproduction and slow population growth. Minimum counts are commonly used to estimate the abundance of small populations, however, these methods generally underestimate abundance and lead to overly conservative management. Therefore, a method is needed to estimate spatial variation in density and herd demographics of elk through time. We propose to develop a technique that can be employed by managers to monitor the growing elk population in Virginia tailored specifically to the unique challenges presented by the elk management zone herd and landscape.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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