October 22, 2019

Vermont Moose Study: Ah, Say What?

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Maybe there is still hope to save the moose. In an article found Online at The Sun, Vermont Fish and Game biologists are quoted as saying, “Winter ticks spread more rapidly when moose are overabundant,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s lead moose biologist. “Although we decreased Vermont’s moose herd to reduce the impacts of moose on the landscape, it may have also contributed to the much lower rates of winter ticks on Vermont’s moose than biologists observe on moose in New Hampshire or Maine.”

However, there are a couple of thing also written in this article that makes me pause and exclaim, SAY WHAT?

For those with some knowledge know that the media, most often fed by fish and wildlife departments, lay the blame of reduced moose populations squarely on global warming, even when there is no science to support such a claim. As we have learned, global warming is a very convenient excuse for everything. And of course, we have reached a point in moose studies where scientists seem to agree that much of the loss of moose through the United States is caused by the infestation of moose ticks, or winter ticks – Dermacentor albipictus. The problem is that it appears there is no agreement as to why there appears to be a problem of too many ticks and too many moose dying from those ticks. Many simply want to lay the entire blame on some fabricated idea of a warming climate. Certainly weather, as has been shown, affects tick survival and perpetuation. Weather is NOT global warming.

Now Vermont is whistling a different tune: “Vermont has already taken steps to help reduce the issue of the winter ticks by increasing the number of licenses sold to hunt moose in recent years. This has taken the population of the species from over 5,000 in the state in the early 2000s to around 2,200 moose today. The species is healthiest at medium densities…” This is perhaps the first I’ve heard of this claimed deliberate action to reduce Vermont’s moose population.

In the “Say What?” category we read:

“As seasons in recent years have warmed up, the winter ticks have been more able to survive and reproduce in the winter.” Winter ticks don’t “reproduce” in winter.

“They don’t pose a problem to deer because deer evolved with the species present…” I don’t understand what the embolden statement means. Somebody help me! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!

SAY WHAT?

 

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