The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin collaring elk in the Bighorn Mountains
as part of a study on brucellosis, a disease found primarily in elk and bison that can spread to livestock and result in animals aborting their young.
Starting Saturday, the Cody Regional Office will attempt to capture and collar 52 elk in order to better understand the rate of exposure of the disease in the area and how it spreads. Each animal will have blood drawn, an ear tag put in place, and be fitted with a GPS collar. Last year the department collared 58 elk in the Bighorns, but many of the collars ended up being defective.
Brucellosis habitat biologist Eric Maichak said the data will help them figure out how best to manage the disease.
“It’ll give us some idea of where does it occur right now, and then also how to potentially incorporate it into some of the models that can predict spatial spread of the disease,” Maichak said.
Right now the Bighorn Mountains have a relatively low rate of