Some elk are leaving the National Elk Refuge this year, sporting a shiny new collar. Spokesperson Lori Iverson says a team of biologists collared a dozen elk with Global Positioning System units there late last month as part of a cooperative research project that ultimately will evaluate habitat use and elk distribution. Iverson says the information from the units can be accessed from a computer so that the biologists don’t have to go out and track the animals. The information available include the time, the date and the location of each animal and the data can be stored up over weeks or months. Once the information is collected, Iverson says it will help with management of the elk population and help determine hunting objectives. Iverson says after two years, the collars automatically release from the animal in order for staff to perform routine maintenance on the device and put it back into use.