MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has allocated $57,191 for a research project to identify elk habitat preferences, movement patterns and demographics in the Glass Mountains of west Texas.
“This project headlines a total of $154,569 worth of conservation and education grants for Texas in 2008. Each year, these grants are based on revenues from Elk Foundation fundraising banquets in Texas, as well as worthy project proposals,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.
Also receiving Elk Foundation grants are various conservation education projects across Texas, a special Texas Youth Hunter Program at the Torstenson Wildlife Center in New Mexico, and a strategic land protection fund.
Partners in the elk research project include Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and local landowners.
Researchers have already captured 20 elk and fitted them with radio tracking collars. Preliminary data show elk in the Trans-Pecos region travel widely with some cows ranging across nearly 40 square miles and bulls close to 100. Both show a strong preference for riparian areas. Eventually, this data may lead to cooperative private-land management strategies to ensure the future of wild elk in the region.
The Glass Mountains elk herd is estimated at 150 animals. Smaller herds occur in the Guadalupes and three other nearby ranges, but none exceed 40 elk. Though officially classified as non-native species that can be hunted any time of year, elk are the subject of growing conservation spirit between private landowners.
Since 1984, the Elk Foundation has completed 37 conservation and education projects valued at more than $580,000 across Texas.
The organization will hold its 25th annual Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo, March 5-8, 2009, in Fort Worth, Texas.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced over 5.2 million acres, a land area larger than Connecticut, Delaware and District of Columbia combined. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.