THE IMPORTANCE OF SALT LICKS AND OTHER SOURCES OF SODIUM IN THE ECOLOGY OF THE USSURI MOOSE (ALCES ALCES CAMELOIDES)
The most important sources of sodium for moose (Alces alces) in Sikhote–Alin are: (1) freshwater aquatic vegetation (river, lake, and bog); (2) marine water and algae; and (3) sodium–saturated ground waters and soils at salt licks. The distribution of local sources of sodium essentially determines the spatial and temporal structure of moose populations. Salt licks play an important role in the ecology of moose as a factor promoting their regular distribution under conditions of the mountain–taiga landscape and also affecting breeding activity; i.e., increasing the probability of encounters of mating partners. The latter is of particular importance where population density is low.
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