January 28, 2011

Tule Elk at Point Reyes National Seashore

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Wednesday, on another little excursion out to the Pierce Point area of Point Reyes, I once again came in close proximity with these shy and skiddish, but grand creatures -- they're Tule Elk, and they are returning from the brink of extinction.   We have the Department of the Interior to thank for saving this noble animal.

CLICK for my December 12 post on Tule Elk at Point Reyes.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

In 1978 there were only 10 Tule Elk in Point Reyes.   Thanks to rigorous conservation and reintroduction efforts, their populaion has expanded to more than 400.

Some Tule Elk are allowed to roam free at Point Reyes, but the Tule Elk that you have a better chance of spotting are contained on the northern Point Reyes peninsula by a fence on the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Tomales Bay to the east.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Here they are -- the guys -- and you know what guys do -- they lay around all day talking football and drinking Miller Lite.   They seem to all be getting along fine now, but a little later in the year rutting season will begin and there will be an ugly competition between the guys as to who is going to be top-dog with the ladies.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

And this is Point Reyes, located about 40 miles north of San Francisco.   Go there on a weekday and you'll have the whole area pretty much to yourself.

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Scott Law said...

Looks like a beautiful area. In that top shot the one on the far left looks a little confused, but at least she's not afraid to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Marvin said...

Beautiful scenic photo of Point Reyes and a great success story about the elk's recovery.

photowannabe said...

Love the Senic "postcard" of Point Reyes. Scrumptious.

AphotoAday said...

Thanks, SCOTT, MARVIN, AND PHOTOWANNABE SUE for stopping by... Encounters like this are rare, and it is really something that I got them to pose twice for me, about 7 weeks ago and then again on Wednesday.
And SCOTT -- the Tule Elk on the left was keeping cautious eye on two people who had gotten out of their car about 200 yards away. They didn't seem too concerned with me shooting, hanging out of my car door...

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