Male tule elk grazing in the Tule Elk Reserve.
Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) at Sunset, San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, California
The tule elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. nannodes) is a subspecies of elk found only in California, ranging from the grasslands and marshlands of the Central Valley to the grassy hills on the coast. The subspecies name derives from the tule on which it feeds, which grows in the marshlands. When the Europeans first arrived, an estimated 500,000 tule elk roamed these regions, but by 1870 they were thought to be extirpated. However, in 1874-1875 a single...