October 7, 2022

Moose Populations Shrinking – No Talk of Predators

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The lame mantra continues! Moose populations in northern New England seem to be shrinking and at least one excuse for this appears to be the presence of those dastardly winter ticks or moose ticks more commonly called. But as usual, only half the story is being told and inaccurate information is being passed around about climate and the ticks.

I have provided information in the past about winter ticks, i.e. how they attach to moose, survival rates, what kind of weather conditions are good and bad for ticks, etc. And yet, the so-called professionals fail in telling a more accurate story and also a complete story.

Experts say ticks are thriving because of warmer winters, yet no data has been provided to support the claim that northern New England is experiencing warmer winters. In addition, it appears incorrectly stated that colder weather kills winter ticks. While few studies have been conducted about winter ticks and moose, one study conducted by William M. Samuel and Dwight A. Welch, “Winter Ticks on Moose and Other Ungulates: Factors Influencing Their Population Size”, says that in order to kill winter ticks during the winter there needs to be 6 consecutive days where the outdoor temperature does not exceed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the latest AP story found in the Boston Globe, reporters state that ticks become less of a problem when there exists long, cold winters. Long and cold winters are a problem to a moose but has really little effect on the ticks, when you are talking about each adult moose carrying up to 150,000 ticks.

No, the goal here is to promote further the environmentalists’ con job of global warming as being the cause of moose population declines. In the article linked to, there is no mention of what the “other” factors are that “might” be influencing a shrinking moose herd. In particular, there is no mention of predators. It’s always about global warming.

The real detriment to this kind of shallow, ignorant thinking is that if there exists a problem, authorities will NEVER learn the real reasons for species decline.

What is good about all of this is the fact that somebody is now paying attention, as outdoorsmen have for a few years now been making statements about the condition of moose and their shrinking populations. Are ticks a problem in this? Of course, but if biologists are honestly concerned about what is really going on, it’s time they consider all factors to the equation and not just an inaccurate belief that warm winters are causing more ticks.

In Minnesota a similar problem exists with declining moose populations. Scientists have been trying to figure out what has caused the moose population to all but disappear over the past decade or so and in all this time have not considered depredation by wolves and other predators and only seem to be focusing on global warming.

Until we have some honest and thorough scientific investigation into these problems, don’t expect any changes to occur other than what is happening now – hunters are having their moose hunting opportunities cut back.