Point Reyes Station, California. – In light of the current drought conditions across the region National Park Service staff at Point Reyes National Seashore are monitoring the water availability for the tule elk in the Tomales Point Reserve. The park has a plan in place if the animals need water.
Staff have been monitoring the situation for several weeks and will continue to carefully monitor the herd’s water availability until the winter rains return.
“The health of the elk herd in the Tomales Preserve is important to us,” said Carey Feierabend, Acting Superintendent for Point Reyes National Seashore. “Park staff are making regular field observations and using wildlife cameras to ensure the herd has access to water sources. If needed, we will provide water to the elk in the southern portion of the reserve.”
Across the Tomales Point Reserve, the elk have several water sources including manmade stock ponds and naturally occurring streams, seeps and springs. Current field observations confirm that, while some of the manmade ponds are dry, water is still available in the natural streams, seeps and springs, and wildlife cameras show elk (plus skunks and badgers) are going to these sources for water. In addition, there is a good flow in the creek that runs down to McClures Beach with obvious heavy and active trailing of elk down into the creek.
The Woodward Fire, which is burning in the park, is located nine miles south of the Tomales Point Reserve and is not currently impacting the herd. The fire is being managed by the Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team. For more information about the fire, please see: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7062