Our Latest Findings on Moose Mortalities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem



VIEW conducted a collaborative study on moose health and winter ticks with Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), Montana State University (MSU), and US Geological Survey (USGS). This project began in response to a larger moose mortality event in the winter of 2018-2019 where approximately 30-50 moose died in the greater Jackson area. Parasitism (Winter ticks, arterial worm, etc.), climatic variables, predation, and other factors have influenced moose populations across the country, yet little is known about the population-wide health of the Jackson and Sublette herds. Information has been found in regard to winter ticks and other diseases' prevalence. Through rigorous necropsies, we have identified several mortality factors, including high parasite loads (winter tick, arterial worms) with poor body condition, infectious disease, trauma and possible toxin.


Dr. Ginger Stout presented our findings at this year's Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) conference. Below you can see what details she shared:

 



Next Steps: This study served as a catalyst for further investigation into mortalities and host-parasite interactions within the region.