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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The restoration of elk (Cervus elaphus) in Ontario, Canada: 1998–2005

Published source details

Rosatte R., Hamr J., Young J., Filion I. & Smith H. (2007) The restoration of elk (Cervus elaphus) in Ontario, Canada: 1998–2005. Restoration Ecology, 15, 34-43


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 1998–2004 within four largely forested areas in Ontario, Canada (Rosatte et al. 2007) found that following translocation elk Cervus canadensis, most of which had been kept in holding pens in groups, remained present at all recipient sites and numbers increased at two of them. By 3–6 years after translocations, elk populations had increased at two sites and decreased at two. From 443 elk translocated, the population at the end of the study was estimated at 375–440 animals. Between 1998 and 2004, forty-one percent of translocated elk died. Causes of death included 10% lost to wolf predation, 5% to emaciation and 5% were shot. Elk were translocated from a site in Alberta, Canada in 1998–2001 in nine releases. Transportation took 24–58 hours. Elk were held in pens at recipient sites for up to 16 weeks before release (some were released immediately) but the effect of holding pens was not tested. Of 443 elk released, 416 were monitored by radio-tracking. The overall population was estimated in March 2004.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 1998–2004 within four largely forested areas in Ontario, Canada (Rosatte et al. 2007) found that following translocation elk Cervus canadensis, most of which had been kept in holding pens in groups, remained present at all release sites and numbers had increased at two of four sites. By 3–6 years after translocations, elk populations had grown at two sites and fallen at two. From 443 elk translocated, the population at the end of the study was estimated at 375–440 animals. Between 1998 and 2004, forty-one percent of translocated elk died. Causes of death included 10% lost to wolf predation, 5% to emaciation and 5% to being shot. Elk were translocated from a site in Alberta, Canada in 1998–2001 in nine releases. Transportation took 24–58 hours. Elk were held in pens at recipient sites for up to 16 weeks before release (some were released immediately) but the effect of holding pens was not tested. Of 443 elk released, 416 were monitored by radio-tracking. The overall population was estimated in March 2004.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)