Moose Die-Off Concerns, Baffles Scientists

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Moose are dying off all over North America, and no one seems to be able to pinpoint the reason or reasons. There have been steep population declines in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Montana and British Columbia, Canada.

Moose Dying in Minnesota Alarm Scientists


One moose population in Minnesota, for example, has plummeted in 20 years from around 4,000 to fewer than 100, according to the New York Times.

No one is sure what is causing the die-off, but scientists suspect many factors. Most of them center on climate change as a root cause.

In New Hampshire, warmer weather has led to an explosion in the winter tick population, and the parasites have had a severe impact on moose. "You can get 100,000 ticks on a moose," said Kristine Rines, a biologist with the state's Fish and Game Department. That many ticks consuming a host's blood is enough to cause anemia even in an enormous moose. The ticks also cause maddening itching for the moose, and their constant scratching pulls out large chunks of their hair. The loss of their coats in this way can lead to hypothermia in the cold and rain.


In Minnesota, a similar story is playing out, except with different parasites, like brain worms and liver flukes.

The warmer weather also puts direct stress on the moose, who are built for cold climates. As the winter temperatures rise beyond normal conditions for the moose, they must expend more energy regulated their body temperatures to stay cool, an effort that can exhaust and kill them.

The moose die-off isn't only an environmental problem, but an economic one. In states where moose are found, moose-watching tourism is big business - $115 million a year in New Hampshire alone. That's not to mention the money brought in from moose-hunting permits, which have declined along with the moose population. In Minnesota, wildlife officials have been forced to suspend moose hunting entirely.

To understand the problem better, states are investing in better moose-tracking technology. New monitoring tech allows scientists to track a tagged moose's heart rate and body temperature, and reports when and where a moose dies. Scientists are then able to retrieve the animal's carcass much more quickly, which means a more accurate and useful necropsy, which will be crucial in solving the die-off mystery.

DRUNK MOOSE AND OTHER FAMOUS ANIMAL PHOTOS:

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patrick

The wolf population is why the deer,elk and moose populations are down, the liberals wanted the wolf brought back and now that it is killing off the animals they blame everything but what is causing it !

October 16 2013 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
campbell1221

It's Sarah Palins fault the Moose are dying out.She loves to kill them.

October 16 2013 at 1:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
barzon1492

The biggest factor endangering any wildlife species is loss of habitat. In many cases land is cleared for farming to grow food for humans, no obvious killing of any species is observed, so it is not a big deal. Entire ecosystems are lost when habitat is destroyed. This is much more severe than what any hunters can do. Any time you consume a vegetable or plant ,think about the total devastation of species that occurred so you can feel good about being a vegetarian and not killing any animals.

October 16 2013 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rosugill

Climate change, which is a fraud, has nothing to do with the decrease in the moose population. If that were the case, they would just migrate further north. They are smater than humans in this respect. Also, the emaciated looking dead moose shown in the picture above doesn\'t seem to have any ticks on it. There is something else going on and I suspect that it has to do with a disease of some sort that our great learned minds haven\'t figured out yet.

October 16 2013 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
terryhedrick

You have hit the nail on the head. If you do not believe this look at the solid scientific data from the RMEF and you will see that everywhere wolves have been introduced Moose, Elk, and Deer poplulations have declined. With wolves, lions, and cyotes it is a wonder we even have any deer left.

October 16 2013 at 11:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Fed Up

Flea and tick collars.

October 16 2013 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jvargas305

sarah palin killing for sport the old hooker

October 16 2013 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon

More bogus blather from the Gore pseudo warmers......

October 16 2013 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Gordon's comment
tlmrbs

Keep on Denying pal. Closed minded ass...

October 16 2013 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sheelite

And your qualifications to make this determination are..?

October 16 2013 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bryanmerrittper2

Here is the real reason the moose are dying off . The stupid idiots that re introduced the grey wolf in all of these areas in the late 80s and early 90s are directly responsible the grey wolf is an alpha predator whose population has now exploded and they are running in large packs killing off the young and baby moose especially and they kill the adult moose too. We need to control the grey wolf population with hunting as soon as they get their numbers under control again the moose population will come back again.. climate change my ass the average temp world wide has not moved more than a half a degree in the last 100 years. If you take a hard look at the grey wolf you will see whats killing off the moose.

October 16 2013 at 9:17 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bryanmerrittper2's comment
rosugill

You could be on to something there, but they have Grey Wolves in Newfoundland also and it doesn\'t seem to have hurt their moose population.

October 16 2013 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda L. Collins

If ticks are the issue then areial spray for them and it should solve the problem. Could even help the dogs and cats too.

October 16 2013 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Linda L. Collins's comment
patrick

You can't spray millions of acres !

October 16 2013 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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