Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Like in so many sections of the USA and Canada,(Colorado seemingly an exception at this time), Moose are taking a beating from Winter Tick infestations..........In British Columbia, Canada, researchers estimate that up to 61% of the Moose herd is being hammered by this scourge.............Biologists feel that the generally warmer temperatures that we are experiencing year round(especially in Winter) has caused an explosion of the ticks..............While impacting Mule Deer, Bison and other ungulates, ticks make Moose their primary target where this hoofed browser roams.............Think about how debilitated you would feel if being beaten down in the following way---"Each female [tick] in the winter can take up to two millilitres of blood, so if you had, say, thousands and thousands of female ticks on a moose then they could be losing upwards of ten, twenty, thirty, forty litres of blood over the course of a month or two"
By Andrew Kurjata, CBC News Posted: Aug 15, 2016
A new study indicates nearly two-thirds of moose in British Columbia are infected with a potentially deadly tick.
The white, hairless top quarters, legs and forehead and ears of
this moose is badly tic infected,,,,,,,,,,likely not to last the Winter
Michael Bridger led the study for the provincial Ministry of Forests, Land, and Natural Resources. He said though the ticks are not always fatal, they can cause severe problems.
"Each female [tick] in the winter can take up to two millilitres of blood, so if you had, say, thousands and thousands of female ticks on a moose then they could be losing upwards of ten, twenty, thirty, forty litres of blood over the course of a month or two," he said.
"That has some pretty clear implications for [the moose's] survival."
A healthy Moose, not yet impacted by tics
Bridger and his team recorded the rates of hair loss in moose, a trait associated with the winter ticks. From January 1 through to April 30, 2016, 61 per cent of moose observed had hair loss.
That number is up from 50 per cent in 2015, though Bridger cautions the increase does not necessarily mean more moose are infected.
He says ticks are naturally occurring, but it appears warmer weather may be affecting where and how many of them are found.
"We suspect with climate change we may be finding ticks in places that we haven't found them before, and the severity of the infestations may be increasing as well."
Thousands of tics can take up residence on each Moose
Most of the moose with ticks were seen in northern British Columbia. Seventy-three per cent of the moose observed in the Peace (northeast) region appeared to be infected, while the Skeena (northwest) and Omineca (Prince George) regions had infection rates of 56 and 53 per cent, respectively.
Bridger said the study is a continuation of the province's efforts to understand and manage British Columbia's declining moose population.
"Moose are an extremely important species in B.C., to First Nations, to local hunters, to guide outfitters and so on," he said. "So it's a species we definitely want to be focusing on right now."
The full 2016 report on the provincial moose winter tick surveillance program is available on the B.C. government's website.
Posted by Rick Meril at 7:33 PM