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: Me, my neuroprocessor, and I: Preparing for a hybrid world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China demand to fuel Hong Kong iPhone grey market

31 minutes ago

Wealthy mainland Chinese looking to buy the new iPhone 6 next week could expect to pay an eye-watering US$2,500 for the handsets in Hong Kong, following Apple's decision to delay the launch in China.

Netflix sets sights on European screens

43 minutes ago

US online streaming giant Netflix will launch the second phase of its European expansion plan on Monday as it sets about seducing French viewers with a "House of Cards"-style drama set in Marseille.

Prosecutors target credit card thieves overseas

14 hours ago

Criminals from around the world buy and sell stolen credit card information with ease in today's digital age. But if they commit their crime entirely outside the United States, they may be hard to prosecute.

SpaceX's next cargo launch set for Sept 20

14 hours ago

SpaceX's next unmanned cargo trip to restock supplies at the International Space Station is scheduled for September 20, the US space agency said Friday.

Recommended for you

Meteorite that doomed dinosaurs remade forests

1 hour ago

The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers, according to a study ...

New camera sheds light on mate choice of swordtail fish

3 hours ago

We have all seen a peacock show its extravagant, colorful tail feathers in courtship of a peahen. Now, a group of researchers have used a special camera developed by an engineer at Washington University in ...

User comments : 0