MOOSE DEFECATION RATES IN RELATION TO HABITAT QUALITY
Defecation rates (DR) of Alces alces in relation to sex and age, and to habitat and season were investigated by collecting pellet groups in four study areas during the winters 1984-87. Differences among sex and age classes in DR did not occur. However, the DR of adult cows and calves were higher than reported for free-ranging moose in other areas. Variation in DR within and between study areas were related to change in diet composition. A positive correlation between DR and dry weight of feces (DWF) exists for both cows and calves. A decrease from early (Dec. - Feb.) to late (March - April) winter in DR and DWF of both cows and calves in likely to reflect the decreasing quality and availability of browse. The recorded variation in DR may bias comparisons of habitat or area-use.
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