Where do moose live in nature?
In many cultures of the world, both modern and ancient, the attitude towards this animal is special, respectful. In Russia, moose was called the forest host, the ancient Scandinavians respected this beast for nobility and intelligence, and some Native American tribes worshiped elk as the patron and benefactor. There is a belief among the peoples of the Russian north that the Milky Way is the ski-runner of the celestial hunter who tracks down moose. And according to the mythology of the Evenks, the elk itself is the constellation Ursa Major.
Of course, moose do not live in the night sky, but in the northern part of our planet. These large animals choose their habitats due to their lifestyle, habits and diet. And therefore, anyone who wants to know where elks live should get acquainted with other interesting facts about these animals.
Description of the species
Elks are the largest members of the reindeer family. Scientists have not exactly decided on the number of elk subspecies, so the sources call different data: from four to eight. It is known that the largest today is the Alaskan elk, and the smallest - Ussuri.
The main feature of the animal are horns.They resemble the form of a plow, which is why elk is often called a plow. But, frankly, moose can be recognized not only by the horns. He has a peculiar appearance, expressive and memorable.
Those places where elks live can be called difficult to reach, therefore in the process of evolution the animal has got strong long legs with massive hooves. A moose has a large hook-nosed head with intelligent eyes and large, fleshy lips. Sexual demorphism is well expressed, it is easy to distinguish the female from the male by its smaller size and the absence of horns.
Lifestyle: what caused the habitat
Let's take a look at where the moose lives and what this animal eats in its natural environment.
Elks are herbivores, but with an average body weight of six hundred kilograms of food, they need a lot. They feed on shrubs and leaves, lichen and mosses. An important part of the diet are mushrooms, among which there are even fly-agaric. Elks love berries, and they are usually eaten with shoots. They love cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, mountain ash. In the cold and hungry season, elk gnaw bark with pleasure. It is easy to guess where the moose lives, since he prefers such food. Of course, in the forest!
But the most obvious answer is not always the only one. Elks also settle in swamps, in the steppe and forest-steppe.
The map shows clearly where the moose live (highlighted in red).
Elks live in the wild, national parks and reserves of Russia, the USA, Canada, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Baltic States, as well as in the Far East (in the north of Mongolia and China). A small population lives in New Zealand.
Active hunting for the mighty master of forests led to the fact that in Europe the elk was almost completely destroyed. Populations have been restored from scratch.
The owner of Russian forests
Answering the question about where the moose live in Russia, many people, besides the tundra and taiga, also call the Arctic zone. This erroneous opinion arose, probably due to the fact that a close relative of the elk, the reindeer, is widespread in the High North.
In fact, the elk does not like winters that are too harsh. He confidently overcomes the marshy areas, but it is hard for him to wander through the snow for a long time and look for food under him.
The population of the preserved, living on the territory of Russia, is the most numerous in the world.About half of all existing moose lives in Russian Siberia, in the Far East and in the European part of the country.
And how could an elk be on the other side of the earth? This species was brought to New Zealand by Europeans in the XIX century, along with other animals of hunting interest.
Currently, the New Zealand population is small. Some researchers, relying on the lack of pictures taken by camera traps over the past half century, are trying to prove that there are no moose left in the island nation. But many hunters insist that they periodically see the surviving, and some of the dropped horns, the places of the lezhek and the paths trodden by powerful hooves were even captured.
Where does the elk winter?
Older hunters are able to determine by the behavior of elks what the coming winter will be. If females with calves, and after time males are removed from their homes and wander to the south, it means there will be a lot of snow, and the thermometer will creep down considerably. Migrations begin in November, when winter has not yet gained its full strength, and the elklings, born at the beginning of summer, have grown and strengthened sufficiently.
Where does an elk live in winter? Around the same conditions as in the rest of the year. Sokhaty prefer to move to coniferous and mixed forests, where it is easier to find food. Places where moose spend the winter are called hibernations.
Migrations are not an obligatory habit of survivors. Populations living in regions with a temperate climate, where no more than half a meter of snow falls in winter, usually do not migrate and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
As at any other time of the year, water availability is very important for elks. These animals drink a lot, and snow, unlike others, is not eaten to replenish moisture reserves, saving heat.
Natural Elk Enemies
In the same place where moose live, other animals live in the forests. Of course, not every predator will decide to attack a large animal that can fight back. Yes, and sahatie run very well. But wolves can hunt moose, especially in the hungry winter time.
However, answering the question about the main enemy of the moose, the animal defenders, unfortunately, the first thing they call a man with a gun. Hunting for moose has already put these animals on the brink of extinction more than once, because of the man’s fun, huge herds have died. Today the hunt is controlled.
How to behave where the elk lives
Of course, looking at the massive body on high legs and forehead with powerful horns, it can be understood that the elk is not so harmless. Deciding that a person is dangerous for a surviving family, he can attack.
Experienced hunters advise you to just stand still for a short while after seeing this animal. Elks do not see very well, so soon the elk will simply pass by. Long wait is unlikely, in search of food, these animals spend the lion's share of time.
Particular care should be taken by drivers. Elks are not too shy, so if they see moving vehicles, they may not move aside. A direct collision with an obstacle weighing 600 kilograms can even throw a minibus or jeep into a ditch. Some of the accidents that occurred because of the elk coming onto the roadway end in the death of both people and animals.
Animal conservation in natural habitat
Today, many forestry companies are taking a number of measures to preserve the size and growth of their populations. In the woods where the moose live, in the winter, feeders with hay and vegetables are equipped for them, salt licks are laid out (moose love to lick salt stones).Hunting is strictly controlled, and poaching is punished to the fullest extent of the law.