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Study: Warmer summers worsen tick infestations for US moose

FILE - A moose is seen in Isle Royale, Mich., in an undated file photo. It's a ghastly sight:...
FILE - A moose is seen in Isle Royale, Mich., in an undated file photo. It's a ghastly sight: ticks by tens of thousands burrowed into a moose's broad body, sucking its lifeblood as the agonized host rubs against trees so vigorously that much of its fur wears away. Winter tick infestation is common with moose across the northern U.S. — usually survivable for adults, less so for calves but miserable either way. And climate change may make it worse, scientists reported Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. (Sarah Hoy/Michigan Tech University via AP)(Sarah Hoy | AP)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 12:12 PM EST
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - It’s a ghastly sight: ticks by tens of thousands burrowed into a moose’s broad body and sucking its lifeblood.

Winter tick infestation is common with moose across the northern U.S. And a study released Monday says climate change may make it worse. It’s based on observation of moose at Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park.

Scientists with Michigan Technological University say higher summer temperatures are quickening the development of tick eggs and boosting the number that hatch.

Moose can lose much of their bristly fur rubbing against trees to get rid of ticks. Infestation also makes them anemic and less able to reproduce.

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