Elk habitancy Facts and Statistics For the United States

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The elk citizen in the United States today is well over 1,000,000 animals, with the citizen growing fairly steadily since a citizen count was made in 1975, at which time the estimated citizen was just over 500,000. Even though a citizen count taken every five years seems to propose a constant growth in numbers, the elk citizen is, like most things in nature, somewhat cyclical.



For a herd to either grow in numbers, or reserve an existing estimate of animals, supporting habitat needs to be there. Most of the habitat convenient for elk is found in the Rocky Mountain region, so it is little wonder that the Rocky Mountain states ordinarily have the largest populations. Of course there are those factors which can cause the elk citizen to decrease at times. One is loss of habitat. Loss of habitat is very often caused by human improvement of the land, but in the case of the elk, forest fires play a major role.

When forest land has burned and lies barren for a short time, knapweed often takes over. This noxious weed is difficult to eradicate, and crowds out the types of vegetation that would regularly reserve a herd of elk. Severe winters often take a toll on herds, as do predators, primarily wolves. The reintroduction of wolves into safe bet regions has been accompanied by a allowance in the elk citizen in those regions. The compound of a severe winter, and a presence of predators, presents the elk with a duplicate whammy. Hunting is other factor contributing to citizen loss. The good news is that the elk are a long ways from being an endangered species, quite the opposite in fact.

There are four species of elk in the United States, the Rocky Mountain elk, the Roosevelt Elk, the Tule Elk, and the Manitoba Elk. 90% of the elk are of the Rocky Mountain species. The Roosevelt elk accounts for most of the remaining 10% of the elk population. The estimate of Tule elk, found in California, numbers under 4,000 animals, and the Manitoba species, found in a couple of the eastern states, numbers under 1,000.

Colorado is the state with the largest elk citizen (290,000), followed by Montana (160,000), Idaho (110,000) and Wyoming (106,000). New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington have smaller, yet tremendous populations. These numbers are for Rocky Mountain elk. The bulk of the Roosevelt elk citizen is in Oregon (63,000) and Washington (36,000). A quantum of Washington’s citizen resides in Olympic National Park, where the species was introduced in the early 1900’s.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is the club to go to for all kinds of data about elk, together with elk population. The Foundation sponsors a estimate of activities directed towards protecting and preserving elk habitat, often working with other outdoors organizations, such as the Back Country Horsemen. The Rmef has a estimate of chapters over the United States.