New England moose under attack from ticks

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Biologists say New England’s moose population is under siege from tiny ticks that have become so numerous in recent years that biologists are concerned about the long-term effect on the animals.

The biologists say winter ticks appear to be more plentiful in the North Woods because of high densities of moose and deer and a general trend toward shorter winters.

The ticks are smaller than deer ticks and wood ticks. They cluster together each fall on large mammals such as moose, deer, cows and horses.

A New Hampshire study found that the average moose carries about 35,000 ticks but they can have as many as 160,000, or about 50 per square inch of hide.

The ticks can leave moose anemic and emaciated, unable to survive winter.

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