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Activity of moose (Alces alces) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was studied at two natural mineral springs (licks) in Ontario during the springtime and summer of 1977 to 1980. Most adult moose appeared to use a lick during a single 1- to 5-day period in a year; some returned at intervals during the season; and all seemed drawn principally by the mineral-rich water. Some young moose remained in the lick vicinity for 3 weeks or more, and often wandered in and out of the licks, grazing herbage as well as drinking. This suggested a social as well as a nutritional attraction for young moose. Activity of both moose and deer increased after leaf flush. Adult male moose used licks most heavily in late May and early June, adult females in middle and late June. Use by young animals was more variable, but all moose activity declined in late June when aquatic feeding became common. Deer continued to use licks heavily until mid-July. Evidently the Na hunger that motivates lick use is related to spring phenology and wanes during the summer. Social and other behaviour seen at licks is described.


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