Michigan elk being tracked for 3-year project

Study will look at effects of human recreation in 'core elk range'

In this undated file photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, elk are seen in the snow near Grygla, Minn.

GAYLORD, Mich. (AP) — Michigan government and university researchers have launched a project to track elk movements in the state’s northern Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University are jointly funding the three-year project and have begun fitting 40 elk with GPS collars.

Researchers say one goal is to study the effects of human recreational activities in what’s called the “core elk range” — roughly 100,000 acres of public land northeast of Gaylord in Otsego and Cheboygan counties.

The collar is designed to fall off after three years. A distress signal is sent if elk movement isn’t detected.

The project has been in the works since the mid-2000s.

DNR officials say an aerial survey found about 1,000 elk in the area.

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