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Roosevelt elk density in old-growth forests of Olympic National Park

January 1, 1987

We explored the feasibility of censusing Roosevelt elk from a helicopter in the dense old growth forests of Olympic National Park. WA. Mean observed densities ranged from 8.0-11.6 elk/km2, with coefficients of variation averaging 19.9 percent. A provisional sightability factor of 74 percent suggested that actual mean densities ranged from 10.8-16.0 elk/km2. We conclude that estimates of elk density probably could be refined, but not without a cost and level of disturbance in the park that seem unwarranted at present. The effort required to conduct the 18 counts made during 1985-86 was substantial. For almost every successful count an unsuccessful attempt was made. These included aborting five flights when counting conditions turned sour. Actual counting time for the successful flights was 15.7 and 16.2 hours in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Additional flight time for traveling to and from the census zones, refueling, and aborted attempts added 12.2 and 10.8 hours for the respective years

Publication Year 1987
Title Roosevelt elk density in old-growth forests of Olympic National Park
Authors D.B. Houston, Bruce B. Moorhead, R.W. Olson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Northwest Science
Index ID 70194135
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center