As the winter months approach, the National Elk Refuge will be tracking the movement of elk and tracking the number of elk on the refuge. This year, says Refuge Biologist Eric Cole the method of taking that census will change. Starting this month the refuge will begin relying on high resolution digital photography to improve the accuracy of those estimates. This he says is part of a larger effort to collect baseline information on elk and bison density and aggregation patterns. He explains that they use that data to formulate their strategies designed to reduce reliance on supplemental feeding which tends to gather the elk and bison around that feed and increases the risk of disease transmission. Cole says collection of the areal images will allow refuge management to assess the changes over time.