DIURNAL DEFECATION RATE OF MOOSE IN SOUTHWEST FINLAND
Keywords:Alces alces, Finland, defecation rate, moose, pellet group, tracking
An accurate measure of defecation rate is essential for application of pellet group counts in moose (Alces alces) population estimates. We measured the wintertime, diurnal defecation rate of moose by tracking 7 GPS-collared and 22 uncollared moose in southwest Finland. The mean defecation rate was 23.5 ± 4.2 pellet groups/d, one of the highest values reported. The mean defecation rate did not differ between the tracking methods (GPS vs. uncollared moose); limited sample size precluded conclusions about sex and age differences. The defecation rate was not correlated with calendar week, length of accumulation period, or number of diurnal beds. Our results are appropriate for use in southwest Finland when using the pellet group method to assess moose population density.
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