UBC Undergraduate Research

Review of coastal elk management projects in British Columbia Hobbs, Jerin


The populations of coastal British Columbia’s Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) decreased greatly from first European settlement to the start of the 1920s. This has been credited to pressures from hunting and decreased habitat, both of which were caused by humans. The remainder of the 20th century was categorized by a period of strict hunting regulations; facilitating a, while slow, re-growth in numbers. Beginning in the latter part of the 20th century, “elk management projects” were also initiated. The goal of these projects was the translocation of elk into areas where their numbers were threatened. During the past decade these projects have intensified and transitioned into translocating elk into drainages where it has been determined that they have been extirpated from. This paper does not determine any negative or positive factors within these projects. However it does investigate potential question’s that should be asked about such projects. These questions are shaped in response to the examination of three case studies: Newfoundland’s introduction of Moose (Alces alces americana), Haida Gwaii’s introduction of Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis), and New Zealand’s introduction of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus).

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