Birkel featured in Reuters report on winter ticks threatening moose populations

Reuters interviewed Sean Birkel, Maine state climatologist and assistant professor with a joint appointment in University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the UMaine Climate Change Institute, about winter ticks that have thrived in Maine’s warmer winters and last year killed 90% of the state’s moose calves. Birkel explained that the warming climate has shortened the winter by between one to two weeks compared to a century ago, meaning a moose meandering in the brush can acquire tens of thousands of more ticks on its coat than it would otherwise. Those ticks will drain vast amounts of its blood at a time it is already contending with cold, deep snow and low seasonal food supplies. Yahoo News shared the Reuters report. Yahoo News, U.S. News and World Report, International Business Times, KRRO-FM (Sioux Falls, SD), KRWK-FM (Fargo, ND), WIMZ-FM (Knoxville, TN), WPBG-FM (Peoria, IL), KDWZ-FM (Duluth, MN) and other outlets shared the Reuters report.