Wildlife camera captures elk rutting season

An elk.
An elk. Source: Pixabay

A wildlife camera in Järva County captured unusual footage of a stand-off between two bull elk, agricultural weekly Maaleht reports.

Eleri Lopp, environmentalist and board member at wildlife NGO Eesti Suurkiskjad, says that footage of this kind is seldom captured in Estonia.

Fall is rutting season, Lopp said, but nonetheless, elk numbers are so much lower today than in the past.

"I have heard stories from the 1970s of over 70 elk being spotted in the one morning, on the shores of the Matsalu lake. But now, I hear from nature photographers who visit Matsalu, that you're lucky if you get to spot even one elk."

The species cause damage to forest, Lopp said, hence the culls, though at the same time, hunters say, a certain amount of damage to trees like pine and spruce must be tolerated, for the species to thrive.

For this reason, cull quotas have only been upped in the most densely-populated, in elk terms, areas of the country and/or those where the damage has been highest – in fact in areas with fewer elk there have been difficulties in even meeting minimum quotas, Maaleht reported.

The original Maaleht piece with videos is here.

European Elk (Alces alces) are the same species as the animal known as moose, in North America, and thus distinct from the North American elk (Cervus canadensis).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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