Sedikhin N.V. 2021. The salt licking activity of the European Moose (Alces alces Linnaeus, 1758) in the Leningrad region of Russia: temporal and behavioral aspects // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.20. No.2. P.158–172 [in English].
Nickolai V. Sedikhin [firstname.lastname@example.org] Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia.
ABSTRACT. Long-term monitoring (2015–2019) was carried out on artificial salt licks (a total of 19 in 3 districts). The total monitoring time was 7123 camera trap days. Depending on the place and year of monitoring, from 5 to 33 different individuals were recorded on each salt lick. Six sex and age groups were identified: adult males, yearling males, adult single females, yearling female, adult females with calves, adult females with yearling individuals. All duration data by sex and age groups including "passing" visits have the form of an exponential distribution (λ = 0.029 ± 0.001 min-1). The data of the duration of geophagous visits have the form of a gamma distribution (k = 1.76 ± 0.087; θ = 21.20 ± 1.501 min). European Moose visit salt licks all year round, most actively in May-August. The average duration of a visit is close to half an hour for each of the identified groups (33.7 ± 1.3 min for all groups; clear time of geophagous visit is 33.2 ± 2.8 min). The duration of salt licking and the mineral lick attendance differs between some identified sex-age groups and months. During the days of salt licking, the same individual most often visits the lick several times (1 to 5 visits a day (max 11), on average 1.48 ± 0.39). The activity of visiting salt licks during the day has a pronounced tendency to acquire peak values in the twilight post-sunset and pre-dawn periods. The moose use a third of the month (34.9% ± 20.8% of month) for salt licking, alternating this with various- time periods break. Age and sex competition for the use of salt licks was noted.
KEY WORDS: European Moose, Alces alces, salt lick, camera trap, duration, geophagous activity.