In the coming decades, the region’s wildlife will encounter more environmental hazards that threaten its well being.
“This is not some hypothetical future thing. This is happening now, and it’s measurable and observable,” said Tom Rogers of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Rogers will host a public meeting and discussion Thursday to help guide Vermonters through the complex changes the region’s wildlife is encountering. The gathering at the Green Mountain Club in Waterbury Center starts at 7 pm.
Rogers said “moose are one of the flagship species for climate change in Vermont.”
According to the Agency of Natural Resources, the yearly average temperature between 1968-2000, has gone up by 4.3°. This is bad newsfor the herd, he said.
“They’re very cold-adapted, and they get heat stressed right around 60°,” Rogers said.
Warmer winters and earlier springs have given rise to a parasite, known as the ‘Winter Tick’. They are feeding off moose, causing many health concerns.
Vermont’s Department of Fish & Wildlife is in the process of conducting a three-year moose study. During the study, a moose was found with 60,000 of these ticks on the body. They sucked the life from the animal.
“That number of ticks is just unsustainable for a moose, they can’t handle it. It’s like going to the American Red Cross, and giving blood every day without stopping,” Rogers said.
Rogers is hopeful Vermonters will attend this discussion on Thursday and says this will be what most people are surprised to learn. “How proactive we are being about climate change. The fact that it factors into every one of our decisions that we make for conservation management. The biggest things we work on these days is habitat. It’s all about habitat.”
A public informational meeting and discussion will help guide Vermonters through the complex changes the region’s wildlife is encountering. Join Tom Rogers from the Department of Fish & Wildlife at the Green Mountain Club in Waterbury Center, on Thursday, the 13th at 7 pm.