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Dynamics of a Colonizing Elk Population

Scott M. McCorquodale, L. Lee Eberhardt and Lester E. Eberhardt
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 309-313
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801240
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801240
Page Count: 5
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Dynamics of a Colonizing Elk Population
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Abstract

The estimated rate of increase (r) for a naturally colonizing elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) population in the shrub-steppe region of southcentral Washington was 0.20 for 1975-86 (2-13 yr post-colonization). From 1982 to 1986, r was 0.30. Survival of all age classes was high. During 1982-86 0.76 calves/female were weaned if 2-year-olds were included, or 0.91 calves/female if 2-year-olds were excluded. Age-specific pregnancy and survival rates were combined in a model to evaluate the impact of various parameter values on rates of increase. Observations and simulation results suggest that the high rate of increase observed was due to high first-year survival and probably substantial reproductive output from 2-year-old females.

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