Tuesday, October 15, 2013

North American Moose Dying Off

The International Business Times reports that North American moose are dying, which is being primarily blamed on winter ticks. 
In Minnesota, for example, one moose population started declining by 25 percent a year several years ago, the New York Times reported. The animal’s mortality rate used to be 8 percent to 12 percent a year. Another of the state’s moose populations has nearly disappeared, down from 4,000 members in the 1990s to currently just 100. 
In Montana, the steep drop in moose has caused officials to issue fewer hunting permits. Last year, just 362 permits were given out -- less than half as many as in 1995, according to The Times. 
A number of other states, including Wyoming and North Dakota, are also reporting a rise in moose die-offs.
The article states that the leading theory of why there are increased tick problems is shorter winters, due to global warming, kill off fewer of the ticks. (Although, if there hasn't been any warming for the past 15 years ...).

However, going to the New York Times article cited by IBT, it notes that "[i]n Minnesota, the leading culprits are brain worms and liver flukes. Both spend part of their life cycles in snails, which thrive in moist environments." It also indicated another theory had to do with heat exhaustion and:
In the Cariboo Mountains of British Columbia, a recent study pinned the decline of moose on the widespread killing of forest by an epidemic of pine bark beetles, which seem to thrive in warmer weather. The loss of trees left the moose exposed to human and animal predators.
 Unregulated hunting may also play a role in moose mortality. So may wolves in Minnesota and the West.
 But, at the very end of the article:
The solution to the tick problem might be, paradoxically, more moose hunting. “It’s up to the public,” she said. “We could kill more if we want healthy moose.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Docent's Memo (Jan. 19, 2022)

  VIDEO: " Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism "--InRange TV (12 min.) Firearms/Self-Defense/Shooting : You can't stop the signal: ...