Studying the effects of reintroduced herbivores on the coastal prairie grasslands
SSU's ENSP Restoration Ecology class and BIOL Ecology class got together last Friday for a field trip out to Tomales Point, the northernmost tip of Point Reyes National Seashore, to learn about the Tule Elk reintroduction program, issues related to population biology, and associated community effects of the reintroduction. Wildlife ecologist Dave Press spoke of the extirpation and near-extinction of this subspecies of American Elk, and the successful reintroduction of these native herbivores to Point Reyes National Seashore.
|Professors Dr. Caroline Christian and Dr. Hall Cushman, with Dave Press, NPS wildlife ecologist, speak at Pierce Point Ranch.|
|Pierce Point Ranch was a dairy and also had steer prior to the reintroduction of the native Tule elk.|
|An elk antler found recently.|
|The elk exclosure serves to keep the humans out as well. But not the deer--as we were surprised to see one inside an exclosure as we approached.|
|Gorgeous views make this a coveted research spot.|
|The "elk guard" keeps the elk in. (But not the humans.)|