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Study: Ticks Killing New Hampshire's Moose Calves

Northeast Naturalist via Flickr CC

 In the battle between ticks and moose, the blood-sucking insects seem to have the upper hand.

Preliminary numbers from a project earlier this year in New Hampshire that put tracking collars on at least 36 calves are not encouraging. They show nearly 75 percent of the calves have died from ticks.

Moose biologist Kristine Rines says a few adult moose have died, too, although not all of those deaths were tick-related.

Rines said it's the second straight year of a high mortality rate for moose calves. She said a combination of shorter winter and high moose density are factors.

The tagging is part of a six-year moose mortality study that began in 2014. Biologists in New Hampshire and Maine teamed up to help determine why moose populations in the region are declining.