YEARLING MOOSE BODY MASS: IMPORTANCE OF FIRST YEAR'S GROWTH RATE AND SELECTIVE FEEDING
Calf and yearling moose (Alces alces) in southeastern Norway are larger on the east side than on the west side of the Oslo fjord. We compare size of calf and yearling moose and general range conditions on the 2 sides of the fjord. We conclude that differences in calf growth rate during the first summer are responsible for the larger animals on the east side. Although forest site quality is better and browse biomass is higher on the west side, selective feeding by lactating cows apparently results in increased milk production and supports a higher growth rate of calves on the east side of the fjord. During their second summer, animals in the 2 areas have similar increases in body mass. It is concluded that autumn body mass of calves gives a better indication of summer range quality than autumn body mass of yearlings. Data from gross browse surveys should be interpreted with care.
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