Elk Monitoring Project at Finley National Wildlife Refuge, By Roger Applegate

Finley Wildlife Refuge near Corvallis is home to a herd of Roosevelt Elk estimated at around 200 animals. In an effort to learn more about the age and sex distribution of the herd, as well as their movement patterns, volunteers have teamed up with Senior Biologist Brian Root to conduct a survey. 

Surveyors use a standard data sheet & conduct the surveys every 1-2 weeks by visiting pre-determined  locations on the refuge and recording numbers of  bulls, cows, and young observed.  In addition to the elk viewing one has the opportunity to view the abundant wildlife at Finley through the changing seasons. Winter brought an influx of magnificent Tundra Swans as well as thousands of Canada geese and other migratory waterfowl. A few of the geese are tagged with numbered neck collars, and if you are lucky enough to see one you can submit the number to a central registry and possibly learn about the travels of your goose! Raptors are abundant; I have seen numerous bald eagles, red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, American kestrels, and Northern Harriers, as well as numerous songbirds and wild turkeys.

The survey is being coordinated by the Friends of the Willamette Valley Wildlife Refuges organization based in Corvallis. Anyone interested in participating should contact Azizah Mohd:  azizahmohd@yahoo.com for more information.  The survey will continue at least until the fall of 2017.

Special thanks to Timothy Lawes for the images below.