Elk NetworkBye Bye Bull Elk, Hello Warbler

General | December 20, 2021

What goes around comes around. Four years after replacing a loon with a bull elk on its specialty license plate, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is replacing the elk with a colorful songbird.

Michigan featured the elk in 2018 as that year celebrated the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk. Once common in Michigan, elk disappeared from the state in the 1800s due to unregulated take and a lack of habitat. Wildlife officials reintroduced seven elk from the western United States in 1918. Today, there is an estimated population of more than 1,400 animals.

If you live in Michigan and want the specialty elk plate, you can still acquire one the rest of the month of December. Beginning in January 2022, the license plate will feature the Kirtland’s warbler to celebrate the recovery of this unique bird.

(Photo credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)