Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher. Salt licks are places on the ground where salt appears naturally or has been deposited by humans and where birds and animals congregate to savor the taste. Parts of the modern-day highway system were originally animal trails and later Native American trails that led to salt access-either salt licks or the ocean.
Characteristics of natural salt licks located in the Colombian Amazon foothills | SpringerLink
Salt licks are vital parts of animal lives and nourishment. They play a key role in the health and growth of most of the animals, both wild and livestock. As a matter of fact, one of the most commonly-known animals that consume salt is a deer. A salt lick for deer can be quite attractive. Deer scout for mineral salt deposits in nature for various reasons. They contain essential mineral nutrients of salt deposits and trace minerals such as phosphorus , iron, zinc, and calcium. Mineral licks can be commonly found in nature.
Salt licks are key places for the ecological dynamics of wildlife communities around the world and are locations where animals develop geophagical behaviours. Geophagy is a method for animals to supplement their diets or facilitate their digestive processes and is related to the health of individuals and populations. This study characterises a series of salt licks located in the Colombian Amazon foothills and describes their structural, mineralogical and physicochemical properties, as well as the fauna that visit these locations. The results are analysed in reference to the geological characteristics of the study area and in relation to the role of the salt lick in the nutritional ecology of the Amazonian fauna. Located in the study area are two types of salt licks that are significantly different in composition.
As most know, a mineral lick is a natural mineral deposit that deer and other animals are readily drawn to; they provide the essential minerals and nutrients that the animal needs for their overall wellness. In addition, the mineral licks are critical to the environment, itself. They offer diversity to the organisms that visit them and build up the habitat by providing good health. However, even with all the studies that have - and are still - being done in regards to mineral licks, little is known about the actual dietary benefits they provide. There has been sufficient proof that mineral licks offer strong nutritional benefits to the animal, but there are many out there who will speak loudly when it comes to how well certain products on the market will substantially increase antler growth.