Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department put out a statement saying ticks are killing half of the moose calves in one area of Vermont. A shocking photo was released showing 90,000 ticks that killed one moose.
A hunt was proposed for the Northeast corner of Vermont where the moose population is the highest. “Moose density in WMU E is more than one moose per square mile, significantly higher than any other part of the state,” said Nick Fortin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s biologist in charge of the moose project. “Moose densities greater than one per square mile support high numbers of winter ticks which negatively impact moose health and survival.”
Research of 126 moose (36 cows 90 calves) showed that adult moose survival was good but more than half of calves did not survive their first winter. “Research has shown that lower moose densities, like in the rest of Vermont, support relatively few winter ticks that do not impact moose populations,” said Fortin. “Reducing moose density decreases the number of available hosts which in turn decreases the number of winter ticks on the landscape.”
Vermont’s fish and wildlife department plan to issue 55 either sex moose tags in the area for this moose season. An estimated 21 bulls, 10 cows, and 2 calves are expected to be harvested.