Quantitative differentiation of
types of feeding craters of
Rangifer tarandus fennicus1

William 0. Pruitt, Jr.

Department of Zoology,
The University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2

 

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Pruitt, W.O., Jr. 1992. Quantitative differentiation of types of feeding craters of Rangifer tarandus fennicus. Rangifer 12 (1): 29-32.

 

Abstract

During winter 1983-1984 in the Kainuu region of eastern Finland, based on 1,363 api profiles, the Värriö Snow Index (VSI) modelled 3 different types of feeding craters dug by Rangifer tarandus fennicus. When mean log VSI of control sites = < ca. 1.4, the animals used suov'dnji (Lappish) or individual, single-use excavations; when mean log VSI of control sites = > 1.4 < ca. 2.1, the animals used fies'ki (Lappish) or cooperative excavations of the perimeter of a site; when mean log VSI of control sites = > ca. 2.6, the animals switched to using Ciegar (Lappish) or linear extensions of a suov'dnji, excavated by a sequence of individuals. Ciegar-type feeding resulted in reduction of mean log VSI of feeding sites even though VSI of control sites increased. Ciegar-type feeding is interpreted as a successful behavioural adaptation to the Sub-Marginal Period.

Keywords. Rangifer, feeding adaptations, behaviour, winter ecology, snow, cratering, Finland, grazing.

1. Paper presented at The First Arctic Ungulate Conference, Nuuk, Greenland, 3 - 8. September, 1991.

 


 

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