More than 85% of Maine moose calves tracked by researchers last year died before their first birthday because of surging winter tick populations.
Solid cold and sustained snow cover kill off winter tick larvae. Climate change, however, is lengthening autumn and shortening winter, allowing the ticks to move further north into moose populations otherwise unchecked by predators.
“Winter ticks are acting as a predator in the system,” said Henry Jones, the lead moose biologist with New Hampshire’s Fish & Game Department, “and they are enhanced by the shifting climate, by the warming climate.”
Republished from Nexus Media News, an editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering stories about climate change. It exists to improve public understanding of the climate crisis, shed light on the steps humans can take in response, and highlight the potential opportunities created by a just energy transition.