Roosevelt elk

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Roosevelt elk
Roosevelt Elk at Northwest Trek.jpg
Male (bull) at Northwest Trek, Washington, US
Roosevelt Elk.jpg
Female at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, US
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Ruminantia
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Cervus
Species: C. canadensis
Subspecies: C. c. roosevelti
Binomial name
Cervus canadensis
(Erxleben, 1777)[1]
Trinomial name
Cervus canadensis roosevelti

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.[5]

Description[edit]

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, and devil's club.[4] Roosevelt elk are also known to eat blueberries, mushrooms, lichens, and salmonberries.[4]

Life cycle[edit]

In the wild, Roosevelt elk rarely live beyond 12 to 15 years, but in captivity have been known to live over 25 years.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erxleben, J.C.P. (1777) Anfangsgründe der Naturlehre and Systema regni animalis.
  2. ^ a b c Robb, Bob (January 2001). The Ultimate Guide to Elk Hunting. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-180-9. 
  3. ^ Nancy Gates, ed. (November 2006). The Alaska Almanac: Facts about Alaska 30th Anniversary Edition. Alaska Northwest Books. ISBN 0-88240-652-3. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rennick, Penny (November 1996). Mammals of Alaska. Alaska Geographic Society. ISBN 1-56661-034-6. 
  5. ^ Houston, Douglas; Jenkins, Kurt. "Roosevelt Elk Ecology". Retrieved 2007-12-28. 

External links[edit]