Roosevelt elk

The Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), also known as Olympic elk, is the largest of the four surviving subspecies of elk in North America.[1] They live in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest and were introduced to Kodiak, Alaska's Afognak and Raspberry Islands in 1928.[2][3] The desire to protect the elk was one of the primary forces behind the establishment of the Mount Olympus National Monument (later Olympic National Park) in 1909.[4]

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk at Northwest Trek
Male (bull) at Northwest Trek, Washington, US
Roosevelt Elk
Female at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, US
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Cervus
C. c. roosevelti
Trinomial name
Cervus canadensis roosevelti


Adults grow to around 6–10 ft (1.8–3 m) in length and stand 2.5–5.6 ft (0.75–1.7 m)[5] tall at the wither.[3] Elk bulls generally weigh between 700 and 1100 lb (300–500 kg), while cows weigh 575–625 lb (260–285 kg).[1] Some mature bulls from Raspberry Island in Alaska have weighed nearly 1300 lb (600 kg).[1]

From late spring to early fall, Roosevelt elk feed on herbaceous plants, such as grasses and sedges.[3] During winter months, they feed on woody plants, including highbush cranberry, elderberry, devil's club, and newly planted seedlings (Douglas-fir and western redcedar).[3] Roosevelt elk are also known to eat blueberries, mushrooms, lichens, and salmonberries.[3]

Life cycle

In the wild, Roosevelt elk rarely live beyond 12 to 15 years, but in captivity have been known to live over 25 years.[3]


This elk subspecies was reintroduced to British Columbia's Sunshine Coast from Vancouver Island in 1986.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Robb, Bob (January 2001). The Ultimate Guide to Elk Hunting. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-180-9.
  2. ^ Nancy Gates, ed. (November 2006). The Alaska Almanac: Facts about Alaska 30th Anniversary Edition. Alaska Northwest Books. ISBN 0-88240-652-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rennick, Penny (November 1996). Mammals of Alaska. Alaska Geographic Society. ISBN 1-56661-034-6.
  4. ^ Houston, Douglas; Jenkins, Kurt. "Roosevelt Elk Ecology". Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  5. ^ Anthony Alan Arsenault, 2008, "Saskatchewan Elk (Cervus elaphus) Management Plan - Update", p.2: "1.1.2 - Physical Description", Fish and Wildlife Technical Report 2008-03, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Fish, and Wildlife Branch
  6. ^

External links


Afognak (Alutiiq: Agw’aneq; Russian: Афогнакъ) is an island 5 km (3.1 mi) north of Kodiak Island in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 43 miles from east to west and 23 miles from north to south and has a land area of 1,812.58 km2 (699.84 sq mi), making it the 18th largest island in the United States. The coast is split by many long, narrow bays. The highest point is 2,546 feet.

The dense spruce forests of Afognak are home to brown bears, Roosevelt elk and Sitka black-tailed deer. Many people visit the island recreationally for hunting and fishing.

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area

The Dean Creek Wildlife Area (or Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area) is a wildlife management area located near Reedsport, Oregon, United States. Jointly managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Bureau of Land Management, it is the year-round residence for a herd of Roosevelt elk.

Eastern elk

The eastern elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis) was a subspecies or distinct population of elk that inhabited the northern and eastern United States, and southern Canada. The last eastern elk was shot in Pennsylvania on September 1, 1877. The subspecies was declared extinct by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1880. Another subspecies of elk, the Merriam's elk, also became extinct at roughly the same time.

As of 2017, the IUCN has reclassified all North American elk subspecies aside from the tule and Roosevelt elk as C. c. canadensis. If this is accurate, this means that the subspecies has returned to the eastern US as the Rocky Mountain elk reintroduced to the region since the 20th century.


The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, in the world, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Northeast Asia. This animal should not be confused with the still larger moose (Alces alces) to which the name "elk" applies in British English and in reference to populations in Eurasia.

Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Males also engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling (sparring), and bugling, a loud series of vocalizations that establishes dominance over other males and attracts females.

Although they are native to North America and eastern Asia, they have adapted well to countries in which they have been introduced, including Argentina and New Zealand. Their great adaptability may threaten endemic species and ecosystems into which they have been introduced.

Elk are susceptible to a number of infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to livestock. Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations, largely by vaccination, have had mixed success.

Some cultures revere the elk as a spiritual force. In parts of Asia, antlers and their velvet are used in traditional medicines. Elk are hunted as a game species. The meat is leaner and higher in protein than beef or chicken.Elk were long believed to belong to a subspecies of the European red deer (Cervus elaphus), but evidence from many mitochondrial DNA genetic studies beginning in 1998 shows that the two are distinct species. Key morphological differences that distinguish C. canadensis from C. elaphus are the former's wider rump patch and paler-hued antlers.

H. B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor

H. B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor is a 12-mile (19 km) scenic driving route along Route 18 in Lincoln, Tillamook, and Polk counties in the U.S. state of Oregon that passes through a forested corridor. The Van Duzer Corridor stretches from northwestern Polk County to Lincoln City, passing through the Northern Oregon Coast Range.

The forest corridor was named for Henry B. Van Duzer, a member of the Oregon State Highway Commission and president of the Inman Poulson Logging Company, who was appointed by Governor I. L. Patterson as the first chairman of the Oregon State Parks Commission in 1929. The land, purchased by the State of Oregon between 1935 and 1942, is managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which also maintains a scenic rest stop on the route.An old growth Douglas-fir forest is located along the Salmon River. Roosevelt elk can be seen along the route.

Jewell, Oregon

Jewell is an unincorporated community in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. The logging community is located at the junction of Oregon Route 103 and Oregon Route 202, near the Nehalem River.

Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer

Located in southwestern Washington and northwestern Oregon, the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer was established in 1972 specifically to protect and manage the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The refuge contains over 5,600 acres (23 km2) of pastures, forested tidal swamps, brushy woodlots, marshes, and sloughs along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

The valuable habitat the refuge preserves for the deer also benefits a large variety of wintering birds, a small herd of Roosevelt elk, river otter, various reptiles and amphibians including painted turtles and red-legged frogs, and several pairs of nesting bald eagles and osprey. Today, about 300 Columbian white-tailed deer live on the refuge.

Another 300-400 live on private lands along the river. The areas upstream from the refuge on Puget Island and on the Oregon side of the river are vital to reestablishing and maintaining viable populations of the species. The refuge works with private and corporate landowners to maintain and reestablish deer on their lands.

The refuge is named for Julia Butler Hansen, a former member of the United States House of Representatives for Washington state.

In April, 2012, high river flow levels coupled with a collapsing dike, that keeps the Columbia River from flooding the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, was reported to be a threat to the resident population of Columbian white-tailed deer.

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge

The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge in the Kodiak Archipelago in southwestern Alaska, United States.

The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge includes the southwestern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, Uganik Island, the Red Peaks area of Afognak Island and all of Ban Island in the archipelago. It encompasses 1,990,418 acres (8,054.94 km2). The refuge is administered from offices in Kodiak.

The refuge contains seven major rivers and about 100 streams. It is a spawning ground for all five species of Pacific Ocean salmon, steelhead, Dolly Varden, and several other fish species; as well as a nesting ground for 250 species of bird, many of which feed on salmon. The refuge has only six native species of mammals: Kodiak bear, red fox, river otter, ermine, little brown bat and tundra vole. The non-native mammals Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goat, Roosevelt elk, caribou, marten, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, and beaver were introduced to the archipelago between the 1920s and 1950s and are now hunted and trapped. An estimated 2,300 brown bears inhabit the refuge, and an estimated 1200 bald eagles nest here every year.

The climate of the refuge is that of southern Alaska, mild and rainy. Many areas in the refuge are densely forested with Sitka spruce at lower elevations. There are grasslands in drier areas, shrub habitats dominated by dense alder, and alpine habitats at higher elevations. The refuge contains several small glaciers.

The refuge has no road access from the outside but contains part of a private road used for access to the Terror Lake hydroelectric facility. Public use of this road is prohibited.

Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a 723-acre (293 ha) wildlife park located in the town of Eatonville, Washington, United States. Its primary feature is a tram tour which takes visitors through a 435-acre (176 ha) free-range area.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The park and its companion zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, are both owned and operated by Metro Parks Tacoma.

Olympic Mountains

The Olympic Mountains are a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington in the United States. The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high – Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,965 ft (2,428 m); however, the eastern slopes rise out of Puget Sound from sea level and the western slopes are separated from the Pacific Ocean by the low-lying 20 to 35 km (12 to 22 mi) wide Pacific Ocean coastal plain. The western slopes are the wettest place in the 48 contiguous states. Most of the mountains are protected within the bounds of Olympic National Park and adjoining segments of the Olympic National Forest.

The mountains are spread out across four counties: Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Mason. Physiographically, they are a section of the larger Pacific Border province, which is in turn a part of the larger Pacific Mountain System.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a state park, located in Humboldt County, California, near the town of Orick and 50 miles (80 km) north of Eureka. The 14,000 acre (57 km²) park is a coastal sanctuary for old-growth Coast Redwood trees.

The park is jointly managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service as a part of the Redwood National and State Parks. These parks (which includes Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park) have been collectively designated as a World Heritage Site and form part of the California Coast Ranges International Biosphere Reserve.The meadow along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, with its population of Roosevelt elk, is considered a centerpiece of the park, located near the information center and campground. These open areas of grassland within the redwood forest are locally known as prairies; and the park takes its name from Prairie Creek flowing near the western edge of the meadow and along the west side of the parkway. Other popular sites in the park are Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs Beach. The park is also home to the tailed frog and several species of salmon.

Schoen Lake Provincial Park

Schoen Lake Provincial Park is a provincial park in northeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, located east of the community of Woss Lake and southwest of Sayward. The park lies inside the Nimpkish Valley watershed. On October 28, 1977 the "Class A" park was officially created to protect, exhibit and interpret an example of the natural features and processes of the Insular Mountains Natural Region. The park covers a total area of 8170 hectares or 20,188 acres. Within those hectares of park land is a number of lakes, creeks and mountain ranges.

The largest lake is Schoen Lake which is 5 km long and has a mean depth of 252 feet. At the west end of Schoen Lake is a 9 site campground with a natural boat launch. Nestled in old growth forest consisting of coastal Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Red Alder and Western Red Cedar, the campgrounds offer prime access to recreation activities that lead to a true remote wilderness experience.

The campgrounds offer picnic tables, pit toilets, fire pits and a camp host during the months of May to September. The road into the campground from highway 19 is narrow and rough and not maintained. Campers, motor homes, rv's and vehicles towing trailers use the road access regularly despite the challenges associated with the poor condition of the gravel road.

The higher elevations of the park surrounding Schoen Lake also consist of mountain hemlock, Pacific Silver Fir and Yellow Cedar with the majority residing in old growth forests around the upper portions of the lake. Wildlife in the area consists primarily of black bears, Columbian black-tailed deer, cougars, Roosevelt elk and wolves. The Adams River herd of Roosevelt Elk use the valley bottoms, wetland areas and avalanche chutes for their summer ranges in Schoen Lake Provincial Park. Roosevelt Elk rut in the fall season and can usually be observed frequently in the Nisnak Meadows area of the park.

Columbian black-tailed deer use the old growth forests that make up Schoen Lake Provincial Park as their summer and winter ranges. Because deer require at least 65% covered canopy within old growth forests to be able to survive the winter months, Schoen Lake Provincial Park plays a vital role in their survival. The numbers of Columbian black-tailed deer within the park during the mid 1970s was high but because of the increasing wolf predation their numbers have decreased substantially since.

Waterfowl in Schoen Lake Provincial Park is limited to loons and mergansers but the Nisnak Meadows and upper meadows in the Nisnak Lake area are very important for migrating waterfowl as reported in the Canada Land Inventory classification on land capability for waterfowl.

South Etolin Wilderness

The South Etolin Wilderness is a wilderness area within the Tongass National Forest of Alaska. The designated wilderness encompasses 82,676 acres, including much of Etolin Island along with several smaller islands, all of which are part of the Alexander Archipelago. Designated in 1990 by the Tongass Timber Reform Act, the wilderness protects classic Southeast Alaska temperate rainforest ecosystems, rising from the densely-forested coast to the glacially-carved summit of 3,720-foot Mount Etolin. An introduced population of Roosevelt elk provides a unique hunting opportunity, both for sport and subsistence purposes.

Southern Oregon Coast Range

The Southern Oregon Coast Range is the southernmost section of the Oregon Coast Range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges, located in the southwest portion of the state of Oregon, United States, roughly between the Umpqua River and the middle fork of the Coquille River, beyond which are the Klamath Mountains. To the east is the Umpqua Valley and to the west the Pacific Ocean. This approximately 55-mile (89 km)-long mountain range contains mountains as high as 3,547 feet (1,081 m) for Bone Mountain. The mountains are known locally in the Roseburg area as the Callahan Mountains, or simply as The Callahans.

Tule elk

The tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) is a subspecies of elk found only in California, ranging from the grasslands and marshlands of the Central Valley to the grassy hills on the coast. The subspecies name derives from the tule, a species of sedge native to freshwater marshes on which the Tule elk feeds. When the Europeans first arrived, an estimated 500,000 tule elk roamed these regions, but by 1870 they were thought to be extirpated. However, in 1874-1875 a single breeding pair was discovered in the tule marshes of Buena Vista Lake in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Conservation measures were taken to protect the species in the 1970s. Today, the wild population exceeds 4,000. Tule elk can reliably be found in Carrizo Plain National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, portions of the Owens Valley from Lone Pine to Bishop, and on Coyote Ridge in Santa Clara Valley, San Jose, California.


The Whilkut also known as "Redwood Creek Indians" or "Mad River Indians" were an Athapaskan tribe, speaking a dialect similar to the Hupa and Chilula, who inhabited the area on or near the upper Redwood Creek and along the Mad River except near its mouth, up to Iaqua Butte, and some settlement in Grouse Creek in the Trinity River drainage in Northwestern California, before contact with Europeans.

Little is known of the Whilkut culture beyond its similarity to that of the Hupa and that they were considered by the Hupa and Chilula as a poorer, backward, less settled hill people. Following the gold rush in Northwestern California, routes of pack trains between Humboldt Bay and Weaverville, California, lay through their territory, and their population, never large, was drastically reduced in the 1858-1864 Bald Hills War. Estimated to have 250-350 warriors at the start of the war, the survivors were taken to the Hupa reservation soon after its establishment. After 1870 they drifted back to their traditional homes where they continued to live. Only 50 remained in the 1910 census. In 1972 only a remnant was left, perhaps only 20 to 25 individuals.

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge is a natural area in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, United States. It was created to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada geese, dusky Canada geese have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest on Alaska's Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the Willamette Valley. Habitat loss, predation, and hunting have caused a decrease in population.

Located ten miles south of Corvallis, Oregon, the refuge protects many of the historic habitats of the valley, including the largest remaining tract of native Willamette Valley wet prairie. Fields of wildlife food crops are interspersed with Oregon white oak savannah, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, old growth bigleaf maple, and native prairie.

Other management goals are to preserve native species and enhance biodiversity including the rare oak savannah, upland prairie, and wet prairie habitats. Endangered and threatened species such as Oregon chub, and Bradshaw's desert parsley find protection and sanctuary on the refuge. A herd of Roosevelt elk can be found in the bottomland forests or farm fields on the refuge.

Under cooperative agreements, area farmers plant refuge fields to produce nutritious grasses preferred by geese. The geese also need water for resting and foraging habitat. Many refuge wetlands occur naturally; others are created by dikes and levees. Some refuge wetlands, drained or channelized by previous owners, are being restored in low-lying areas of the refuge to increase diversity and desirability of habitat for wildlife.

The majority of wetlands are being managed as moist soil units, to promote growth of wetland food plants (millet, smartweed, sedges, etc.) used as food by waterfowl and other wildlife. By resting in undisturbed areas on the refuges, wintering geese regain energy reserves required for migration and nesting. This sanctuary reduces depredation problems on neighboring private lands.

Of historic interest is the Fiechter House, completed in 1857, and thought to be the oldest house in Benton County. The refuge was named for William L. Finley, an early conservationist who persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi River.

Two county roads passing through the refuge are open to the public throughout the year. Similar access is also provided at four viewpoints (kiosks and bulletin boards) and two trails (Woodpecker Loop and Mill Hill). To provide a quiet resting area, waterfowl habitat is closed to public entry while the geese are in residence, from November 1 through March 31. This winter waterfowl closure includes all portions of the refuge except the two trails, kiosks, bulletin boards, and headquarters building.

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