University of New Hampshire ecologists have just published a study of winter tick infestations on moose in New England. A tough job but someone has to do it.
They discovered 125 calves died between 2014 and 2016 and that 90% of those deaths were due to the massive amounts of ticks drinking their blood – as many as 90,000 ticks on one animal.
The moose calf death rates over those two years averaged 70%, compared to around 15% two decades ago.
Why is this happening? Climate change of course. It’s got warmer during the winter and there is less snow, so the winter ticks (who can be spotted because they wear scarves) have it easier than previously.
Picture source: Internet Archive Book Images