Parks in Brief: Olympic National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. (Photo/NPS)

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. (Photo/NPS)

Olympic National Park seeking information in elk poaching incident

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — On Feb. 15, a visitor reported a dead cow elk on Upper Hoh Road in Olympic National Park.

U.S. Park Rangers and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife investigated and discovered the cow elk had been killed sometime between Feb. 14 and the early morning hours of Feb. 15. The carcass was within yards of the roadway and no attempt was made to harvest the meat.

Olympic National Park protects the largest population of Roosevelt elk in its natural environment in the world. Decades of protection from human harvest and habitat manipulation have sustained not only high densities of elk, but also preserved the natural composition, social structure, and dynamics of this unique coastal form of elk found in the Pacific Northwest and nowhere else.

7.5M people visited Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 2018

BOULDER CITY, Nevada — Lake Mead National Recreation Area welcomed 7.5 million recreation visitors to the park in 2018, according to figures released by the National Park Service. For the second year in a row, it is the sixth most visited park in the entire National Park Service.

“We are continuing to improve the visitor experience for the millions of people who enjoy Lake Mead, by prioritizing the park’s maintenance backlog,” Superintendent Suess said. “We are revitalizing campgrounds, upgrading the exterior trails and features at the visitor center and improving roads and launch ramps.”

Since 1937, nearly 440 million people have visited the recreation area.

Mountain lion suffering from skin disease, may be linked to poisons

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — National Park Service researchers recently re-captured a female mountain lion known as P-53 and treated her for mange, a parasitic disease of the hair and skin. Mange is generally rare in wild cats, however, it has been widespread in bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains area since an epizootic started in 2002 caused extensive mortality and a significant population decline.

This is the fifth case of mange in mountain lions since the study began in 2002. Previous cases have not led to severe debilitation, emaciation, and death, as generally occurs in bobcats, although the first two of these mountain lions cases died from uncontrolled bleeding as a result of anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning.

Researchers are awaiting test results to determine whether P-53’s blood sample shows exposure to first or second-generation anticoagulant compounds.

Information provided by NPS

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