Wildlife managers in Arkansas are faced with managing a growing population of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus neloni) that has extended its range to incorporate private lands near the Buffalo National River (BNR) in northcentral Arkansas. This range expansion has created conflicts between private landowners and wildlife management personnel. To document the extent of damage and assess attitudes of landowners with elk on their land, interviews were conducted with landowners who contacted us or the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission about problems with elk. A survey also was created and sent to landowners who live near the BNR in Boone and Newton counties and who may have elk on their land. Ten of 18 respondents with elk on their land reported having a problem with nuisance activity. Landowners indicated that most damage was to pastures, hay crops, and food plots. Damage appeared to occur more often in summer, when elk home ranges were smallest, than in other seasons. Landowners incurring damage from elk had a strong negative opinion. Continued research into effective management practices should be conducted to properly manage this growing population of elk and reduce conflicts between elk and Arkansas landowners.
Herner-Thogmartin, Jennifer H.; Smith, Kimberly G.; and Cartwright, Michael E.
"Perceived Damage by Elk in the Arkansas Ozarks,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 55, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol55/iss1/8