January 12

Maine moose population holding steady

In New Hampshire, wildlife biologists say winter ticks are weakening the state’s herd.

The Associated Press

Maine’s moose population remains strong while New Hampshire’s is waning.

Both states are using GPS monitoring collars to track and study their moose populations.

Lee Kantar – Maine’s moose biologist – told the Bangor Daily News that the state’s moose population is staying pretty strong and healthy.

In New Hampshire, wildlife biologists say winter ticks are weakening the state’s herd, with many dying of anemia due to blood loss. New Hampshire’s moose population had dropped by 3,000 in recent years, and now stands at about 4,500.

Biologists say colder temperatures throughout much of Maine in winter are sparing most deer there from the threat of tick infestation.

New Hampshire wildlife biologist Kristine Rines says climate change and warmer winters have escalated the winter tick problem in her state.

“You can get 100,000 ticks on a moose,” Rines said. In addition to anemia, Rines said, the moose also become vulnerable to hypothermia.

Maine biologists in the next few months plan to fit up to 70 moose with GPS collars, and plan to collar another 70 moose next winter, Kantar said.

“We have initiated a GPS telemetry study to examine adult female and calf survival rates in western Maine and plan to follow in northern Maine next year,” Kantar said.

Moose hunting has been suspended in Minnesota, which is experiencing a 25 percent drop in moose population each year.

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