STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department are currently working on a study about moose population. Apparently, climate change might have influenced the population of this species and scientists to need to have a better perspective upon the moose herd of the state. Some specialists argue that climate change is not the only factor which contributes to the decrease of the moose population.
A dangerous parasite called the winter ticks is currently affecting moose living in Northeast. Due to the fact that the weather is warm during fall and spring, the number of ticks increased affecting many moose even causing their death due to hypothermia or massive blood loss. Some of them develop hypothermia because they shed their hair in a try to lose the parasites.
Starting with this month, scientists working at the Fish & Wildlife Department will monitor approximately 60 individuals of this species by attaching radio collars. Wild moose will be analyzed, and their movements will be recorded to establish the cause of their massive mortality in the last few years. To install these collars, researchers will need the help of capture contractors who will use nets from helicopters.
These experts will apply fundamental techniques meant to diminish the level of stress to these animals. Then, Department researchers will track the activity of moose population for several years using the GPS attached to the collars, but also by examining their behavior when out in the field. Vermont was categorized as being the fourth northeastern state to take part in this research.
The other three states are New York, Maine, and New Hampshire. They are using the same techniques to monitor the population of moose. Biologists are trying to understand if moose calves manage to reach adulthood, surviving the dangerous parasite. During this study period, researchers are bound to analyze the death of every moose which is part of the survey.
Biologists also want to determine how many moose are killed by predators like bear or coyotes. What is more, they are bound to establish the number of moose who die due to brain worm infection and those who die because of winter tick parasites. The study is also meant to analyze whether females are successfully reproducing, also revealing what happens with the calves after leaving their mothers.
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