Monday, February 27, 2012

Point Reyes (subtitle: Elk in CA!)

Did you know we have elk in CA?  Well, I didn't until a few months ago.  One population lives at Tomalas Point in the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Actually, this is a reintroduction.  The original population was killed off in the late 1800's.  This population was brought here in the 1978 -- it started with just two bulls and eight cows.  There are now 3700 Tule Elk left in the world and they are all in CA; 440 were counted in 2009 at Tomalas Point.  This population is a fenced population -- they can't move to new habitat.  But apparently members of this herd are being reintroduced to other populations, so I suppose there is some effort to keep this population viable. 

It is weird to see such a small number of initial individuals creating such a large herd -- two males and eight females would never be able to produce a viable population in the ape world. 

We took a trip in December.  They are really beautiful animals and the hike has a wonderful view the entire route.

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