Roosevelt Elk Herd 2002

Mt St Helens National Monument, Toutle Valley 2002

The Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), also known as Olympic elk, is the largest of the four surviving subspecies of elk in North America.[2] They live in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest and were introduced to Alaska's Afognak and Raspberry Islands in 1928.[3][4] 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

Adults grow to around 6–10 ft (1.8–3 m) in length and stand 2.5–5 ft (0.75–1.5 m) tall at the shoulder.[4] Elk bulls generally weigh between 700 and 1100 lb (300–500 kg), while cows weigh 575–625 lb (260–285 kg).[2] Some mature bulls from Raspberry Island in Alaska have weighed nearly 1300 lb (600 kg).[2]

From late spring to early fall, Roosevelt elk feed on herbaceous plants, such as grasses and sedges.[4] During winter months, they feed on woody plants, including highbush cranberry, elderberry, devil's club, and newly planted seedlings (Douglas-fir and western redcedar).[4] Roosevelt elk are also known to eat blueberries, mushrooms, lichens, and salmonberries.

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

Roosevelt elk are sometimes known as Olympic elk and are the largest of the big game animals. A mature bull may weigh as much as 1,000 pounds or even more, but on the average they will weigh much less. Both male and female elk have a dark-colored neck mane. Antlers of the males are heavy, and tend to rise straighter and with much less spread than antlers of the Rocky Mountain elk. The greatest difference between Roosevelt elk and Rocky Mountain elk is in their habits and distribution. Roosevelt elk choose to live in the rain forests of the Pacific coast. They prefer the logged and burned over areas of the coastal mountains and the western slope of the Cascades. Upon finding an area which meets their needs they spend their entire lives there. Huckleberry, trailing wild blackberry, vine maple, salal, and other shrubs are favorite food during the late summer, fall, and winter. Weeds and grasses are preferred in the spring and early summer. Roosevelt elk are larger in size and darker than a Rocky Mountain elk. Antlers are shorter, heavier, with a narrower spread and often "webbed" or crowned at the top. (NPS leaflet) Feeding occurs just after daylight and again in the early evening. When food becomes scarce, the elk herd must spend more time in search of it.

http://www.scsc.k12.ar.us/2001Outwest/PacificNaturalHistory/Projects/JeffersE/Default.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosevelt_elk

Roosevelt Elk Range

Range - Green

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