A massive bull elk plodding through snow in the village of Field is not an unusual sight in Yoho National Park. A small herd calls the Field area home in winter. However, little is known about where else they go in the park.

Radio collars

GPS-equipped radio collars are helping Parks Canada wildlife specialists and highway planners better understand elk movements and how they use their habitat. The Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) is being widened from two lanes to four in Yoho. Radio collar information will help our specialists find the best locations and methods for helping elk cross this section of highway safely.

 

Kicking Horse valley

Kicking Horse Flats

This is a wildlife pinch point: a spot where large animals are forced to travel along a narrow strip of forest bordering the valley bottom. With both a highway and a railroad, there are few safe routes for wildlife to cross the valley here. This research is key to protecting the elk around Field.


Wildlife cameras

Wildlife cameras are an ongoing part of this research. They will record elk presence before, during and after TCH twinning. The images help us evaluate if elk habitat remains connected after the highway work is completed.