- Associated Press - Sunday, August 17, 2014

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) - Biologists are beginning their annual count of Roosevelt elk in Olympic National Park.

The National Park Service says staff from the park and from the U.S. Geological Survey are beginning the four-day count Sunday. They were heading up in a low-flying helicopter in the morning and again in the late afternoon over high-elevation areas in the Elwha, Hoh, South Fork Hoh, Queets and Quinault Valleys.

The annual counts began in 2011. Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum says they’re part of the park’s efforts to monitor and understand its resources and ecosystems.

Park biologists are counting elk in subalpine and alpine meadows. The surveys will provide estimates of abundance, sex and age, as well as distribution of migratory elk.

Results of the survey are expected to be available next spring.

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