Effects of Capture and Processing Activities on Elk Physiology

Kentucky’s elk population growth has exceeded initial goals, resulting in several states acquiring elk from the Commonwealth to augment (WI) or start their own populations (MO, WV, VA). Large animal capture, processing, and captivity can cause stress, injury, and even death. Our research led by M.S. forestry graduate student Aaron Hildreth, and in conjunction with KDFWR, is designed to assess the changes in physiology (e.g. temperature) and health (e.g. body weight) of captured and processed Kentucky elk used to restock other states. We hope our findings will help inform wildlife managers in creating more knowledgeable and safer capture of elk.

John J. Cox, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Conservation Biology
(859) 257-9507 | jjcox@uky.edu | 102 T.P. Cooper Building