MOOSE WINTER DIET SELECTION IN CENTRAL ONTARIO
This paper documents moose (Alces alces) winter diets in the northern portion of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest region of Ontario. Seventeen of 20 species available along 2,890m of moose foraging path were browsed. Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), and red maple (Acer rubrum) comprised a combined 74 and 56 % of the browse dry weight consumed and available, respectively. Moose used balsam fir, eastern hemlock, and red maple proportionally more than their availability, used sugar maple (Acer saccharum), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), and mountain ash (Sorbus americana) proportionally less than their availability, and used striped maple, beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta), and mountain maple (Acer spicatum) proportional to their availability. The important contribution of striped maple and eastern hemlock to moose diets contrast with other studies. These results may be used to assist in the evaluation of moose winter habitat.
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