Update: Mid-August update 2011: The tule elk begin their annual rut season. Larger males sizing each another and establishing harems. On weekends, docents set up scopes at Tomales Point to get a closer look.
The tule elk is a subspecies of elk that is unique to California. Nearly hunted to extinction during the Gold Rush, the tule elk received federal protection in 1971. Pierce Point, the north point of the Point Reyes peninsula, is now a 2,600 acre reserve for the tule elk. In the fall, it is a warm, beautiful hike with the opportunity to see the elk rut season. You are likely to hear bull elks bugle, spar and try to form their harems of females.
Some facts from the National Park Service:
Female elk are sexually mature by two years of age, although they may be able to breed as yearlings. Nearly all female elk will reproduce during their lifetime. A female is likely to have six to ten calves in her lifetime. Males are sexually mature at age two, but usually aren?t able to breed until they are strong enough to compete with other bulls to defend a harem of cows. Half the male population will remain bachelors; most breeding is accomplished by ten percent of the male population.
This video was created by the National Park Service’s Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center as part of its 2004 “Science Behind the Scenery” DVD.
Tule Elk: California’s Legacy of Wildness chronicles the fascinating and inspirational story of the tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) which are native to California and can be viewed at the Tomales Point Tule Elk Reserve. Since pre-historic times, large herds of tule elk roamed California’s central valley and coastal plains. Unfortunately, they were hunted to near-extinction by the late 19th century. Tule Elk examines how the dramatic rebound of the tule elk population at Point Reyes National Seashore and in California at large demonstrates the success of threatened species protections and conservation laws. Continue Reading »
Hostelling International’s Point Reyes Hostel hosts a BYO picnic in the heart of Point Reyes National Seashore, celebrating 100 years of the worldwide hostelling movement.
Enjoy complimentary Lagunitas beer, organic lemonade, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches, and bring something to throw on the grill or whip up in the hostel’s fully equipped kitchen. Festivities also include prize giveaways and live music by “siren folk metal quartet” Pink Sabbath.
For more information, visit: http://norcalhostels.org/reyes/news/p,3434/
Chef Belov made fish ceviche and spoke passionately and clearly about the challenges of procuring fish and food sustainably.
Wed at 8:31am · Delete
Beat the dog days by heading out to Point Reyes. The tule elk are in action, bugling, fighting and forming their harems. The Point Reyes Farmers Market has beautiful food and produce. Last weekend, Chef Belov from FISH in Sausalito made fish ceviche and spoke passionately and clearly about the challenges of procuring fish and food sustainably.
As a bonus this weekend, celebrate 100 years of the worldwide hostelling movement at the Point Reyes Hostel. They’re hosting a BYO picnic in the heart of Point Reyes National Seashore on Sunday, August 23, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. They’ll have complimentary Lagunitas beer, organic lemonade, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches. You bring something to throw on the grill or whip up in the hostel’s fully equipped kitchen. Festivities also include prize giveaways and live music by “siren folk metal quartet” Pink Sabbath.
The first rumblings of the tule elk rut or breeding season – harems are being formed around bull elk; the male bugling sounds are being heard out at Tomales Point. The rut begins in early August and continues through the fall. Volunteers staff the trail on weekends to provide a closer look and answer questions.
Summer Berry time – the first ripe blackberries are appearing along roads and trails – both the native ‘Cutleaf’ and the exotic Himalaya berry! Scarlet Thimbleberries are ripening along the Bear Valley Trail and hairy Salmonberries along the lower Bayview Trail. Huckleberries appearing throughout Tomales Bay State Park though no reports from Old Pine Trail yet!
These are highlights from the National Park Service Park Wavelengths newsletter.