Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The winter food of moose (Alces alces L.) was examined in 1967-68 in the Saariselkä fell area in the communes of Inari and Sodankylä, in the northern parts of the communes of Salla and Savukoski, and in the central part of the commune of Salla in eastern Lapland in Finland.
In northern parts of Salla and Savukoski 25 moose were followed during 3.-13.4.1968. This area is typical wintering terrain of moose in north-east Lapland. According to the estimate, 45% food taken by the moose was Scots pine shoots and needles, 28% birch, 17% juniper sprigs and needles, 9% willow, and 1.5% bear moss. According to observations of the researchers in 26.1.-16.5.1968, moose seemed to avoid birch, even if it was available in the area, and eat Scots pine shoots and needles and juniper.
Moose seemed to prefer willow in as a winter feed in the southern part of the area studied, where it accounts according to the present and earlier studies 50-90% of the winter food. In the northern wintering areas of moose, where willow is not as common, willow seemed to account for less than 10% of the winter food. There Scots pine is the most important winter food for moose.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
Increase in the elk (Alces alces L.) population and the problems of its grazing has called for detailed research. The present study concentrated on three observation areas representing northern, western and eastern parts of Finland. There were 28 field observers watching 68 elks.
Earlier investigations in Finland indicate that aspen (Populus tremula L.) is the staple diet of elk. This study reached different conclusions, probably largely because of aspen is gradually becoming an increasingly rare tree species in Finland. According to this study, the principal food of elk in the winter is willow (Salix sp.). In the whole country, willow accounts for about 70% of elk’s nutrition. In the Far North the percentage is approx. 90. Of the other tree species, the order of preference is: aspen, Scots pine, mountain ash, juniper and birch. In addition, in Western Finland where snow is less deep, lingonberry and blueberry shrubs are on the menu. Beard moss on the spruce was frequently eaten locally. Elk seems to have eaten mainly the last annual shoot of trees and bushes. In few cases it has gnawed the bark of Scots pine, aspen and willow. Elk consumes in average 340 twigs or terminal shoots per day in the winter. This corresponds to about 1.8 kg of food.
The problem of elks damaging Scots pine seedlings has been observed in Western Finland, were the elk population is higher. The article suggests that suitable feeding places would be left for elk in places that are unsuitable for agriculture or forestry. Leaving, for instance, birch seedlings in Scots pine stands has been noticed to attract elks and to increase the damage to pine.
The article includes an abstract in English and a summary in Swedish.