BOISE, Idaho —
Earlier this year, Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) received a mortality signal from a radio collared elk on Craig Mountain.
With the data and GPS location provided by the collar, IDFG staff were able to navigate to the location of the collar.
Upon arrival, staff found scree material and boulders up to the size of beach balls. According to IDFG, it appeared that at least 15 elk were traversing and side hilling near the top of a ridgeline only to be caught up in a landslide.
Ultimately, the elk slid nearly 1,000 feet down the hillside and were caught up in the rubble and snow, dying in the landslide.
During an investigation through the rock and debris, IDFG staff were able to gather data from 4 recovered collars. According to IDFG, natural events such as avalanches and rockslides often occur without being observed and it is generally unknown how these events influence wildlife.
IDFG uses data from radio collars to better understand wildlife survivability. Staff use data generated from the collars to track where collared animals are located, their movement patterns, and potentially how they die. Collars, like the ones on the elk, allow IDFG to inform management decisions on preserving, protecting, and perpetuating wildlife for continued use and enjoyment of the public.
To see footage of IDFG staff visiting the location of the landslide, click HERE.
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