Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 18, 2018 


Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side-by-side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A Senate committee looks at the latest attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

Daily Newscasts

Report Finds Ticks on Rise; Bad News for Moose and Maine

PHOTO: A new report from the National Wildlife Federation finds winter ticks are becoming more abundant in Maine, in part because of less severe winters. The ticks pose a threat to the depleted New England moose population. Photo credit: Paul Anderson/Morguefile.
PHOTO: A new report from the National Wildlife Federation finds winter ticks are becoming more abundant in Maine, in part because of less severe winters. The ticks pose a threat to the depleted New England moose population. Photo credit: Paul Anderson/Morguefile.
September 2, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine. - With autumn around the corner, a new report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) finds Maine's winter tick population is growing because of climate change. More ticks spells bad news for the already-depleted New England moose population.

Hunter and wildlife biologist Eric Orff serves as New England outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. A contributor to the NWF report, he says the longer snow stays on the ground the more winter ticks die off, but climate change keeps altering the equation in Maine, giving baby ticks more time to latch onto local moose.

'This last winter in Maine, there was a dramatic die-off from winter ticks," says Orff. "Half the moose they radio-tagged in January were dead by April, so they had a 50 percent moose mortality in Maine."

Report author Dr. Doug Inkley says there is a growing body of evidence linking the warming climate to changes in both wildlife and the environment.

"It's not our imagination. This is already happening," he says. "We must take action now for our children's future, and for our outdoor experience future. These things are happening now."

Along with moose, the National Wildlife Federation report notes winter ticks also impact elk, caribou and deer.

Orff says the changing climate also is responsible in a spike in deer ticks, which can serve as the source for Lyme disease, a significant health problem for humans.

"It feeds on a human. It gives you Lyme disease, which I actually had over a decade ago," says Orff. "It's one of the fastest increasing diseases in New England."

The report, titled Ticked Off: America's Outdoor Experience and Climate Change, also warns that pests like tiger mosquitoes are now forecast for Maine. Thus far the mosquitoes have only been found as far north as Long Island.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME