Creature Feature: Roosevelt Elk

Is there a more iconic Humboldt mammal than the Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti)? It’s hard to miss them as they graze casually by the highway near Orick and Humboldt Lagoons. Of the four subspecies of elk in North America, Roosevelt Elk are the largest. They are also one of the loudest animals you will come across, especially in the fall when males start to “bugle” in competition for mates.

Roosevelt Elk were originally protected in their range around Olympic National Park by president Theodore Roosevelt (hence the name). When Europeans arrived and started over-hunting elk in the 1800s, their populations declined dramatically. However, there are now healthy populations scattered from Northern California to Alaska. Remember to keep an eye out for these large and leisurely creatures while driving in the northern part of the county. They like to cross the road at their own pace!

PC: Ingrid Taylar
Wikipedia – Roosevelt Elk