Summer autumn and winter diets of elk cervus elaphus in saskatchewan canada

Hunt, H.M.

Canadian Field-Naturalist 93(3): 282-287


Accession: 006541583

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The composition of the contents of 88 elk (C. elaphus) rumens obtained in summer, autumn and winter from the boreal forest region of east-central Saskatchewan demonstrated that woody browse was the preferred forage of elk. Relatively constant amounts of forbs (13-17% of rumen contents) and sedges (Carex spp.) and grasses (7-8%) were present in the rumens in each season. Cultivated crops made up over 1/4 of the forage found in autumn rumens. Summer rumen compositions were characterized by similar high proportions of browse in rumens from each of 4 areas in east-central Saskatchewan and slight variations from area to area in the minor amounts of sedges and grasses, forbs and agriculture crops. Significant differences from area to area in the individual component foods in each broad forage class in the rumens demonstrated the variable and adaptable nature of the diet of elk in Saskatchewan.