January Wildlife Photo Page: Elk

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/26/22

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For January, the Courant is celebrating Colorado’s elk population.

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January Wildlife Photo Page: Elk

Posted

In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For January, the Courant is celebrating Colorado’s elk population.

ELK FUN FACTS:

  • While commonly called “elk” in the United States, wapiti is the preferred name, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Elsewhere in the world, “elk” is used to describe the animal Americans call moose. Wapiti are also found in Eurasia, where it is known as the red deer.
  • Colorado is home to more than 280,000 elk, which is the largest population in the world, CPW’s website states.
  • The elk often seen in the Evergreen area are part of a larger Mount Evans herd that extends from Morrison to the Continental Divide. That herd is an estimated 2,500 elk, CPW staff confirmed.
  • In the early 1900s, only 40,000 elk remained in North America, mostly because of unregulated market hunting, CPW’s website describes. In 1916, Colorado imported 50 elk from Wyoming to reestablish its dwindling herds. The elk were transported and released in Idaho Springs and Pueblo County’s Greenhorn Mountains. From these limited transplants, and through decades of trapping and relocation efforts by wildlife managers, the elk population has grown to the abundant herds for which Colorado is now famous. CPW states that the elk’s return is among Colorado’s greatest conservation success stories.
  • A mature bull elk will weigh around 600-800 pounds, while a cow elk will be about 500 pounds. A set of antlers on a mature bull elk can weigh up to 40 pounds.

GOT WILDLIFE PHOTOS?

The February wildlife photo page will celebrate Colorado’s birds of prey — eagles, falcons, hawks, owls and vultures. To contribute to the Feb. 24 page, email photos to cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com before Feb. 18. Include the photographer’s name and the date and location the photo was taken. The photo can be of wildlife anywhere in Colorado and doesn’t have to be recent.

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