Tule elk graze during a stunning sunset on Tomales Point, at Point Reyes National Seashore.
The tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) is one of two subspecies of elk native to California. Tule elk are also endemic to California, meaning they are found only here. Tule elk once inhabited the grasslands of the Point Reyes peninsula and the Olema Valley, as well as other grasslands within Marin County. They were the dominant grazers on these lands until their local extirpation in the 1850s. Reintroduction of tule elk to the National Seashore and the further establishment of the free-ranging herd has been an important component of the restoration of the natural systems historically found in this unique and treasured place. Point Reyes National Seashore remains the only National Park unit where tule elk can be found. The majestic animals you see as you travel through the park embody the restoration of the dominant native herbivore to the California coastal ecosystem.