HUNTER COLLECTED BLOOD SAMPLES FOR COMPARING THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF TWO QUÉBEC MOOSE POPULATIONS
Blood samples from moose (Alces alces) harvested in a game reserve where density was relatively high and sex ratio close to 1:1 were compared with samples collected in adjacent hunting zones where density was lower and adult bull:cow ratios varied between 1:3 and 1:2. Samples were collected between mid-September and mid-October, and analyzed for haematocrit, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), inorganic phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and albumin. There was an average of 3-days delay between animal death and delivery of samples to us. Some 76% of the samples were hemolysed which in turn had a significant effect on BUN, phosphorus, and albumin concentration. BUN levels varied with date, this reflecting a decrease in protein intake during the period studied. Comparing blood values between the populations showed a significant difference only in albumin. The poor quality of blood samples collected by hunters probably lowered the possibility of finding more differences when comparing the 2 populations.
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