Aug 9, 2013

With warmer winters, ticks devastating N.H. moose population

Minnesota
New Hampshire
USA
by
Darryl Fears
,
Washington Post
A sick cow moose tries to get up when approached along the Echo Trail near Ely, Minn., in 2008. Surveys of Minnesota's moose showed that the population has been declining for several years because of several factors, including known and unidentified diseases. Photo: Mike Schrage, AP
A sick cow moose tries to get up when approached along the Echo Trail near Ely, Minn., in 2008. Surveys of Minnesota's moose showed that the population has been declining for several years because of several factors, including known and unidentified diseases. Photo: Mike Schrage, AP

As the number of ticks explodes, moose have disappeared by the thousands in areas where they were most abundant. Many of those still alive are eerily thin, with rib cages visible through ragged skin. They are mere shadows of themselves, zombies with antlers.

“It’s pretty depressing,” said Kristine Rines, a wildlife biologist and moose project leader for the state’s Fish and Game Department. “It’s a pretty tough way to go. There’s no question that climate plays a huge part in this. If we had winters that lasted as long as they used to, we might not be having this conversation"