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Roosevelt elk selection of temperate rain forest seral stages in western Washington

Northwest Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

We studied habitat selection by Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) in a temperate rain forest in the lower Queets River Valley of the western Olympic Peninsula, Washington from June 1986-July 1987. Elk annual home ranges included predominantly unlogged forests protected within Olympic National Park and logged, regenerating forests adjacent to the park. Radio-collared elk selected valley floors during all seasons except winter, when elk frequently used an adjoining plateau 60 m above the floodplain. In winder, radio-collared elk selected 6-15 year-old clearcuts, which were available on the plateau. Elk selected mature deciduous forests of the valley floor during spring, summer, and autumn, and generally they selected old-age Sitka spruce forests during autumn and winter. Young clearcuts (1-5 years old) and even-aged, regenerating stands (16-150 years old) generally were avoided during all seasons. Management practices that retain preferred habitat of elk, such as deciduous forests, 6-15 yr-old coniferous stands, and old-age coniferous bottomland forests will benefit elk, particularly on elk ranges managed for short-rotation, even-aged stands. Silvicultural alternatives to typical even-aged stand management, such as uneven-aged management and commercial thinning, should also be considered for improving and maintaining interspersion of forage and cover.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Roosevelt elk selection of temperate rain forest seral stages in western Washington
Series title Northwest Science
Volume 67
Issue 1
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Northwest Scientific Association
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 23
Last page 29
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Olympic Peninsula, Queets River Valley