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Re-introduction of tule elk to Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA

By: , and 
Edited by: Pritpal S. Soorae

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Abstract

Tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes), a subspecies endemic to California, was historically found in large herds throughout much of central and coastal California. Market hunting during the California Gold Rush decimated these herds, and by 1895, only two to 10 elk remained. This remnant group was protected and served as the source for early relocation efforts (McCullough, 1971). Early efforts were generally unsuccessful but did establish a herd in California’s Owens Valley, outside their historical range, in 1933. The herd grew rapidly and supported six controversial hunts between 1943 and 1969. In an effort to limit hunting, concerned preservationists formed the Committee for the Preservation of Tule Elk in 1960. Public pressure resulted in the California State Legislature passing a law in 1971 that halted hunting until either state-wide numbers reached 2,000, or no further unoccupied elk habitat existed. This law prompted the California Department of Fish and Game to begin reintroducing tule elk throughout their former range. In 1976, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that concurred with state law and directed federal agencies to make lands available for reintroductions within the subspecies’ historical range. Point Reyes National Seashore was identified as a potential translocation site.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Re-introduction of tule elk to Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group & Environment Agency-ABU DHABI
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2013. Further case studies from around the globe
First page 168
Last page 173
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Point Reyes National Seashore
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N