REPEATABILITY OF INCISOR CEMENTUM AGE DETERMINATIONS FOR MOOSE
The incisor cementum method for determining moose ages failed to yield consistent results in three separate tests. Only 9 of 50, 11 of 150 and 3 of 50 incisors were assigned identical ages by the 3 to 4 observers in each test. The differences exceeded those of a single observer comparing the incisor cementum method with the wear class method. Mean ages, percentages of yearlings in the harvest and deviations from regression of mortality curves all varied significantly among observers, suggesting the possibility of serious errors in management decisions. Special guidelines failed to improve consistency but two biologists taught by the same person and consulting on interpretation obtained close agreement. We recommend annual training sessions for standardizing interpretation with each jurisdiction.
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