2013-10-15. Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists.

posted Oct 15, 2013, 10:00 AM by Alan Gould
For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 1 and Climate Change Chapter 8. Excerpt: ...Across North America — in places as far-flung as Montana and British Columbia, New Hampshire and Minnesota — moose populations are in steep decline. And no one is sure why. ...Several factors are clearly at work. But a common thread in most hypotheses is climate change. Winters have grown substantially shorter across much of the moose’s range. In New Hampshire, a longer fall with less snow has greatly increased the number of winter ticks, a devastating parasite. “You can get 100,000 ticks on a moose,” said Kristine Rines, a biologist with the state’s Fish and Game Department.  In Minnesota, the leading culprits are brain worms and liver flukes. Both spend part of their life cycles in snails, which thrive in moist environments. Another theory is heat stress. Moose are made for cold weather, and when the temperature rises above 23 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, as has happened more often in recent years, they expend extra energy to stay cool. That can lead to exhaustion and death. ...Unregulated hunting may also play a role in moose mortality. So may wolves in Minnesota and the West.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/science/earth/something-is-killing-off-the-moose.html. Jim Robbins, The New York Times.