New England Moose Population is Decreasing Because of Ticks
According to the Concord Monitor, northern New England is home to thousands of moose and has the largest moose population east of Alaska. However, the population has decreased significantly in the last decade, in part because of Winter ticks. According to the news site, the ticks infest moose and sometimes tens of thousands are found on a single animal. The ticks can kill moose calves and make it difficult for females to have babies.
So the question is, why are Winter ticks worse now than they were in prior years? Two words: climate change. The mild Winters we have been experiencing might be better for our backs (less shoveling) but the warmer temps allow for the ticks to thrive. The news site quotes a Maine moose biologist named Lee Kantar who said "Every day that is mild in October and November and we don’t get any snow, every day ticks are out getting on moose.
The concord monitor states there were thought to be only 50 moose left in New Hampshire in the 1950s, and the state now has about 3,300.