Olympic National Park’s Roosevelt elk census starts Sunday

Biologists plan to start their annual population census of Olympic National Park’s famous Roosevelt elk starting Sunday, Aug. 17. If weather permits, the U.S. Geological Survey will use low-flying helicopters through Wednesday, Aug. 20, to do morning (6-10 a.m.) and evening (4-6 p.m.) counts.

The aerial counts are planned for high elevation areas within the park.

“The elk survey is part of our ongoing effort to monitor and understand the condition of our park resources and ecosystems,” Olympic National Park superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said in a prepared statement. “This census will provide valuable information about the status of Roosevelt elk in the park.”

A statement released by the park says “the surveys will provide estimates of abundance, sex and age composition, and distribution of migratory elk in high altitude areas of the park. Information gathered during the census will be available next spring.”

Annual elk censuses started in the park in 2011.