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Valley group collars nine elk

The Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group has put radio collars on nine animals in the local herd, group members announced last week.

All the collared elk are female. No more elk will be collared until late fall, to avoid disturbing the calving season.

Based on initial observations, elk group members found that several elk are very thin and in poor health, Kalli Willson, elk group spokeswoman, told the Valley Record.

Elk that seemed robust did not appear to have had calves last year, according to Willson. Biologists working with group have stated that the harsh winter may have played a role in the less-than-ideal health of the animals.

There are many places in the Valley where elk have over-browsed their preferred winter forage, to the point where the vegetation has died. Even their alternate forage has been over-browsed, Willson stated.

Volunteers are working to track the herd. Residents can help by reporting sightings of elk, including the collared elk, who wear white radio collars.

To participate, visit www.SnoqualmieValleyElk.org.

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