Monday, November 19, 2012

Moose and Calf

A couple moose calf pictures from the spring in northern N.H. The first was shot through the mothers legs, the others are self explanatory. Moose in N.H. have declined significantly due largely to winter ticks, and this has resulted in significantly lower moose hunting permits (and thus less revenue). A single moose can easily have > 50,000 ticks which remain on the moose for months to complete their life cycle. Moose in particular are victims of the tick because they cannot reach or groom as well as white-tail deer. It is common to see hair loss or bald spots of moose from scratching, which gives the moose the local nick name "ghost". Moose calfs are the most susceptible to the winter ticks because high densities of ticks literally suck more blood from a calf then it can produce in the spring (April is known as the month of death for moose). Mortality of N.H. moose calfs can be over 70% in bad years while adult mortality rates can be as high as 20%. Luckily this calf looks in good shape, but the true test of survival will be this april.


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