The moose of Montana, Minnesota, British Columbia and New Hampshire have one thing in common: They're dying in larger numbers, and no one really knows why. The changes are quite drastic: One Minnesota moose population has fallen from 4,000 to less than 100 over the past 20 years. Scientists have a range of theories, including everything from an increase in winter ticks (a dangerous parasite) to forest devastation caused by pine bark beetles.
But climate change seems to be a part of most of the major hypotheses for why the moose are dying off, and fast. "It's complicated because [there are] so many pieces of this puzzle that could be impacted by climate change," Erika Butler, formerly of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, told the New York Times. The leading climate change theories are that shorter winters increase the numbers of winter ticks that can infect the moose or that they suffer from heat stress caused by winter temperatures above 23 degrees Fahrenheit. [Source]
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