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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Biologists in Vermont are joining their colleagues in neighboring Maine and New Hampshire to study the cumulative impacts of Winter tics, Deer Brain Disease and warming temperatures on Moose mortality

Winter ticks are bugging Vermont's moose to death

January 5, 2017

This month, biologists in Vermont will radio collar 60 moose in the state's herd of 2,200 animals to learn more about how winter ticks are affecting them.

According to Vermont Fish and Wildlife, "The ticks are becoming more prolific as spring and fall weather has warmed in recent years, causing some moose to collapse from blood loss or die from hypothermia after rubbing their insulating hair off in an attempt to rid themselves of the parasite."

Vermont is joining the previoius 5 year study of Moose mortality that adjacent states
Maine and New Hampshire have conducted.

 Up to 80 percent of the moose calves in the study in New Hampshire have died each year, with winter tick infestations far and away the leading cause of death. Since the late 1990s, New Hampshire’s moose herd has declined from about 7,000 to 3,800.
Calf survival has not been much better in Maine. Researchers there have documented up to 63,000 ticks on one moose, with 50,000 generally being a “lethal load,” as tick-infested moose eventually succumb to blood loss and depleted energy reserves.

Some scientists have pinned the die-off on climate-change related stress. As the forests get warmer, moose must expend more effort to keep themselves cool. This puts stress on the animal, leaving it vulnerable to disease, theorize some scientists.
Another factor likely is deer brain worm that attacks the moose’s spinal cord and brain. Or it could be some complex combination these factors. Or it could be some other climate-change related alternation in the moose’s ecosystem or habitat – one, perhaps, that no one has yet identified. Factors not related to climate change, like over-hunting, could also be involved.

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