March 18, 2015

Elk Populations of the East: Past, Present, and Future, as the Tide of Reintroduction Rolls On

One of the Most popular posts on this Blog has been my writing on The Return of the Elk to the East. It's been so popular that I feel a follow up is called for.
I said about everything I knew at the time in that post, so I figured why not dig in some more and provide some more raw information for the autodidacts out there. As a service of information, I thought it might be fun to list where the elk are now as public herds (there are a lot of meat and trophy herds, which is great, but the public herds are more likely to be free roaming and an act of wide scale species restoration, although not to take it away from the Ted Turners of the world who are privately trying to bring about ecological restoration, but their neighbors might complain, and it's harder to complain to city hall). I also searched news stories and the rumor mill as to where they might go as states and parks make active plans, and where they could go by my observations of places in the east that are wild enough. As I research, it turns out that it doesn't take a huge area.. Virginia placed their herd on 3 square miles of recovered coal mine where most of them will stay if they manage for numbers, but many of the herds are much more woodland and widely ranging.
let's start with where they started: