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Title: Tales of a repatriated megaherbivore: Challenges and opportunities in the management of reintroduced elk in Appalachia

Author: Cox, John J.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 632-642.

Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Reintroductions of large mammals are challenging and often controversial endeavors. Elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were successfully reintroduced to southeastern Kentucky beginning in 1997. Since then, elk have exhibited a decade-long irruptive growth pattern in the absence of mortality factors that commonly limit its abundance in more western portions of North America. As a result, elk impacts on local vegetation in this area are increasingly apparent and concomitant with population growth of the species, particularly on or near reclaimed surface mines. Despite 8 continuous years of hunting, state wildlife officials estimate the current elk population has grown to 10,000-11,000. This paper examines some of the current and future challenges that local wildlife managers and land stewards increasingly face in managing elk numbers within social and ecological carrying capacities in an area with little public land.

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Cox, John J. 2011. Tales of a repatriated megaherbivore: Challenges and opportunities in the management of reintroduced elk in Appalachia. In: Fei, Songlin; Lhotka, John M.; Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Miller, Gary W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 632-642.

 


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