Over a century after disappearing, wild elk return to Ontario

Feb 21, 2007

After disappearing from Ontario due to over hunting in the 19th century, wild elk have returned to the province thanks to the efforts of the Ontario elk restoration program. According to a report on the program’s success, published in the March issue of Restoration Ecology, 460 elk were brought from Alberta and released in various Ontario sites between 1998 and 2001.

"The Ontario elk restoration program has met with great success primarily due to the collaborative, multi-partnered approach to wildlife management," says Dr. Rick Rosatte, author of the report and senior research scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Although the transferred elk experienced a 41 percent mortality rate between 1998-2004, the majority of surviving elk were able to reproduce. According to the program’s 2004 data, 375 to 440 elk are currently living in Ontario.

Dr. Rosatte is quick to point out that the program faced many challenges. Many of the reintroduced elk did not survive long after being transferred, particularly due to wolf predation, illegal hunting and stress from the transfer process. However, the death rate is decreasing each year, suggesting that the animals are adapting to their new home.

Although pleased with the program’s success to date, Rosatte asserts that the work is far from over. "Our challenge for the future will be to develop accurate methods to estimate elk numbers and locations, so that elk can be managed in a sustainable manner, and in a way that minimizes conflicts between elk and humans."

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Explore further: Study identifies first-ever human population adaptation to toxic chemical, arsenic

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Planet 'reared' by four parent stars

59 minutes ago

Growing up as a planet with more than one parent star has its challenges. Though the planets in our solar system circle just one star—our sun—other more distant planets, called exoplanets, can be reared ...

Pleurobot is salamander-like robot with lifelike motion

2 hours ago

A video showing "multimodal locomotion in a bioinspired robot" has been making the rounds, and the video demonstrates advances in robotics as scientific tools as well as potential robots for search and rescue ...

Recommended for you

Activating genes on demand

2 hours ago

When it comes to gene expression - the process by which our DNA provides the recipe used to direct the synthesis of proteins and other molecules that we need for development and survival - scientists have ...

Metabolic path to improved biofuel production

3 hours ago

Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a partnership that includes the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, have found a way ...

Deadly frog fungus dates back to 1880s, studies find

5 hours ago

A deadly fungus responsible for the extinction of more than 200 amphibian species worldwide has coexisted harmlessly with animals in Illinois and Korea for more than a century, a pair of studies have found.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.