* Threatened or Endangered

Rocky Mountain Elk *

 : Cervus canadensis nelsoni

 : Mammal

 : Mountainous areas of northwest and western United States, introduced to many other areas including the Appalachians

 : Grasses, plants, leaves and bark

 : Weight 500 to 700 lbs.

 : Least Concern


• Common across many regions of the country in colonial days, except for desert and gulf coasts areas.

• Various reintroduction efforts have been conducted across North America and most have been successful.

• Elk have been labeled one of the worst invasive species when they are found in the wrong situation.

• Also called Nelson’s elk and Wapiti, this is the second-largest member of the deer family, with moose being the largest.

• Males have antlers which are shed and regrown each year.

• Elk are deeply imbedded in Native American culture. The Lakota gave an Elk tooth to newborn male children to promote longevity. Teeth were the longest-lasting parts to be found in aged carcasses.


Respect native wildlife by remembering that…it’s wild! When enjoying native land where wildlife lives, always be aware, be safe, and leave no trace. Never approach, taunt, or feed wildlife. Interacting with them can be dangerous to you and to them. Instead, enjoy their beauty and their ecosystem without disturbing them. To learn more, follow these links: