Elk NetworkFour Elk Killed on Virginia Roadways

General | February 29, 2024

One wildlife-vehicle collision is one too many. However, in a state with a young elk herd like Virginia, losing four elk over a month is even more trying.

“Our elk population is very small and so any mortality that happens is very important,” Jackie Rosenberger, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources elk project leader, told Cardinal News. “Unfortunately, all of these accidents involved very young animals and obviously, from a demographic standpoint, losing very young animals for a population that we’re trying to grow is about the worst-case scenario.”

It happened in Buchanan County, the heart of Virginia’s elk range in western portions of the state. Rosenberger said elk are drawn to salt on pavement.

The state since erected two message signs, warning drivers about the possibility of elk crossing, with others in the works. It may also seek grant funding for other warning systems, fencing or wildlife crossings to better protect big game and drivers alike.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation helped restore elk to their historic Virginia range in 2012.

(Photo credit: Jackie Rosenberg/ Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)