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NCSU BIO 181 - Tule Elk Handout

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Matthew Shaw Reintroduction of Tule Elk at Point Reyes Seashore National Park in the late 1970s was madeas a recovery effort for this species. Answer the following questions: (see the reading on Tule Elk) a. What led to this effort?During the Gold Rush of 1849, Tule Elk (Native California Species) nearly became extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction. After 4 years of 0 Tule Elk spotting’s, some were found by a citizen and were allowed to thrive until the population number grew to 140. This led to laws being passed to prevent the hunting of these elk. In the 1970’s, Public Law 94-389 required the federal government to make suitable lands for these animals to thrive. b. Which population growth model would the species show from the late 1970s to the start of the 21st century? J-Curve. The large growth of this species was certainly exponential. c. What population factors would eventually play a role to keep the population below carrying capacity? As the human population grows in California, less and less land is available for Elk grazing. Dueto prohibited hunting and lack of natural predators, the population won’t decline that way. Disease could strike, thinning the population, or lack of rainfall could cause a drought and lead tostarvation. The range is also restricted by the Pacific Ocean on both the North and West end, as well as many other barriers. Only 5% of these Elk die per year, over 200 females are old enough to reproduce, and they have a life span of up to 12 years and some even 25. With this type of population growth potential, the demanded resources they will require could cause issues due to a limited habitat. d. Tule Elk would be categorized as which “type-selected” species? Explain why? They would fall under Type 3. A large portion of the Tule Elk population is in the youth (less than 5.) The young typically grow to full adults without issue. There are a large number of females ready to reproduce as well. Not to mention, only 5% die per year and the average life span is 12, and can reach up to 25 years old. e. Explain the characteristics of this species. Draw the survivorship curve which would best fit the Tule Elk and explain why? (NOTE: insert a picture of your drawing into this document or find an existing survivorship curve and insert with the proper citation).Matthew Shaw The young in this species are subject to a high mortality rate, have early reproduction, and lack of parental overwatch. But there are high numbers in the younger population. This being said, a type 3 survivorship curve would fit best with the Tule Elk species. Life tables, survivorship curves & age-sex structure (article). (n.d.). Retrieved March 03, 2021, from


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