Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Nutrition-Growth Relations of Elk Calves during Late Summer and Fall

John G. Cook, Lonnie J. Quinlan, Larry L. Irwin, Larry D. Bryant, Robert A. Riggs and Jack Ward Thomas
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 528-541
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802070
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802070
Page Count: 14
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Nutrition-Growth Relations of Elk Calves during Late Summer and Fall
Preview not available

Abstract

We report nutrition-growth relations in juvenile Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) from mid-August through mid-November. Data were generated from 3, 18-day experimental trials in 1993 with 42 calves, and from general feeding and growth data collected in 1991 with 25 calves. Intake of digestible energy was linearly correlated with growth rate and accounted for 53-89% of the variation in calf growth. Maximum daily digestible energy intake and growth rates were 368 kcal/kg $\text{BM}^{0.75}$ and 0.70 kg/day in late August and early September and 342 kcal/kg $\text{BM}^{0.75}$ and 0.33 kg/day in mid-November. Intake-specific growth rates declined after late September, suggesting a seasonal influence on growth-intake relations. We developed a deterministic model of growth to compare body mass dynamics over autumn of calves on an optimum diet (i.e., 3.3-2.95 kcal of digestible energy/g of forage) versus calves on diets available to free-ranging elk (2.66-1.86 kcal/g). Model projections indicated a 21% difference in body mass of the 2 groups by mid-December due to the lower concentration of digestible energy in diets of free-ranging calves. Our results confirm the importance of nutrition in late summer and fall for growth of elk calves, suggest a mechanism linking dietary quality during this time to winter survival, and demonstrate the importance of evaluating forage quality for reliable assessment of habitat quality on elk summer and autumn ranges.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
528
    528
  • Thumbnail: Page 
529
    529
  • Thumbnail: Page 
530
    530
  • Thumbnail: Page 
531
    531
  • Thumbnail: Page 
532
    532
  • Thumbnail: Page 
533
    533
  • Thumbnail: Page 
534
    534
  • Thumbnail: Page 
535
    535
  • Thumbnail: Page 
536
    536
  • Thumbnail: Page 
537
    537
  • Thumbnail: Page 
538
    538
  • Thumbnail: Page 
539
    539
  • Thumbnail: Page 
540
    540
  • Thumbnail: Page 
541
    541