Updated:
Original:

What's the Maine reason moose are healthy in some states? Research may tell

Author:

Biologists working to explain the mysterious and precipitous decline in Minnesota moose numbers may soon have some comparative data from states where moose are still doing well.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports scientists in Maine plan to put radio collars on 70 moose this winter and another 70 next winter. In that state the moose population appears to be rather healthy – a contrast to some others, including neighboring New Hampshire, the Sun Journal says.

The paper says New Hampshire's moose seem to be struggling with a tick infestation. Biologists say more ticks are surviving warmer winters and as many as 100,000 can be found on a single moose.

That's also been a problem in Manitoba, where the Winnipeg Free Press says some moose pull or rub their pelts off in patches until their coats are too skimpy to get them through the winter. The Free Press says Manitoba straddles a geographic fault line for falling moose numbers. The population is increasing in some parts of the province, while it's fallen by as much as 90 percent elsewhere.

In Spokane, the Spokesman-Review reported last week that scientists have collared 28 moose for a long-term study. Washington's moose, the newspaper says, appear to be expanding in range and possibly in numbers.

As for Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports researchers at a conference over the weekend said the adult moose mortality rate is about double what scientists would expect. While wolves account for about 10 percent of those deaths, the newspaper quotes a University of Minnesota Duluth researcher saying another 40 percent involve moose that "are just laying down and dying."

The Maine newspaper cites brain worms and liver flukes as possible culprits in Minnesota. A November report from the National Wildlife Federation said climate change is at the root of the decline, in which the state has lost about half its moose in three years.

Next Up

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Related