Roosevelt elk

The Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), also known as the Olympic elk, is the largest of the four surviving subspecies of elk in North America. Here’s a description of the Roosevelt elk and its distribution:

Description of the Roosevelt Elk:

  • Size: Roosevelt elk are among the largest subspecies of elk, with adult males (bulls) typically weighing between 317 to 500 kilograms (700 to 1,100 pounds) and standing 1.5 to 1.8 meters (5 to 6 feet) tall at the shoulder. Adult females (cows) are smaller, weighing between 225 to 317 kilograms (500 to 700 pounds).
  • Appearance: Roosevelt elk have a dark brown or reddish-brown coat, with a distinctive light-colored rump patch and neck mane. Bulls have large antlers that can span up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) in width and weigh over 18 kilograms (40 pounds). During the breeding season, or rut, bulls emit bugling calls and engage in aggressive displays to establish dominance and compete for mating opportunities.
  • Habitat: Roosevelt elk inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including coastal rainforests, temperate rainforests, and mixed coniferous forests. They are typically found in areas with dense vegetation, water sources, and suitable forage, such as grasses, sedges, ferns, and shrubs.
  • Behavior: Roosevelt elk are primarily crepuscular and nocturnal, feeding during the early morning and late evening hours and resting or ruminating during the day. They are social animals, forming herds that range in size from a few individuals to several dozen animals, depending on factors such as habitat quality and population density.
  • Range: Roosevelt elk are endemic to the Pacific Northwest region of North America, primarily in the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. They are also found in parts of British Columbia, Canada, where they inhabit the coastal rainforests of Vancouver Island and the surrounding mainland.
  • Conservation Status: Roosevelt elk are currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, their populations face threats from habitat loss, fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict, and overhunting. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and manage elk habitat, reduce conflicts with humans, and ensure the long-term viability of Roosevelt elk populations.

Distribution by County: Roosevelt elk are primarily found in counties along the Pacific coast of North America, particularly in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as in coastal areas of British Columbia, Canada. Within these regions, they inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including national parks, state parks, wilderness areas, and managed forests. While specific county-level data on Roosevelt elk populations may vary, they are generally associated with counties that encompass their range along the Pacific coast.

Roosevelt elk in Zoos

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