Boy, climate change certainly SUCKS, doesn’t it? It really TICKS me off how much of a DRAIN it has been on our natural resources. If only the political CLIMATE would CHANGE but we have too many PARASITIC business interests preventing meaningful legislation.
Yeah, puns are awful, but this story is really gross.
The New York Times (that failing liberal rag) did a horrifying story on the effects that climate change has on animal life. Essentially the ticks have more time to attach to large animals because of later and shorter winters, and can actually kill the animals through anemia.
“Maine and New Hampshire had less than 50 moose in the 1970s,” Dr. Pekins said. But their numbers have multiplied many times over since then, thanks to improvements in the available habitat and a lack of predators like wolves.
As a result, Maine now has anywhere from 60,000 to 70,000 moose; New Hampshire had as many as 8,000 or 9,000 in the early 2000s, though the numbers now hover around 5,000. And it’s the abundance of moose that enables the ticks to survive.
“You need a lot of moose on the landscape to have a lot of parasites,” Dr. Pekins said. “That’s the host-parasite relationship.”
That relationship was more or less in balance until the changing climate tilted the scales in the ticks’ favor. Over the long term, Dr. Pekins doesn’t expect the moose to die off completely, but there will be fewer of them.
The ticks don’t want the moose to die off completely, either. “The parasite doesn’t want to kill off its host — that’s bad evolution,” Dr. Pekins said. “Because the parasite loses the game.”
Horrifying, right? Vote in November!