The devastating toll of ticks on New England's moose herd has caused the region's population to shrink, and experts worry it could get worse with climate change.
The northern New England states are home to thousands of moose, but the herd has dwindled in the last decade, in part because of the winter ticks. The ticks infest moose and suck their blood dry, and sometimes tens of thousands are found on a single animal.
Maine has the largest moose population east of Alaska and was home to some 76,000 animals about seven years ago. Lee Kantar, Maine's moose biologist, said that number might now be as low as 50,000.
Scientists in Maine are entering the final year of a multiyear study of the moose population in its northern and western areas.