MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Researchers have begun putting GPS radio collars on elk in far northwestern Minnesota as part of a broader study to better track their seasonal movements and how they use different kinds of habitat at various times of the year.

Gino D'Angelo of the Department of Natural Resources says the goal is to collar 20 female elk. He says the first day was Tuesday and it went well, with five elk quickly captured, collared and safely released.

Spotters this winter counted 83 elk in the state's elk range, which includes Kittson, Marshall and Roseau counties. That's down from the 131 counted in the 2015 survey. But D'Angelo says that doesn't mean Minnesota has fewer elk. He says the study should help explain the year-to-year fluctuations in the state's elk population.