Moose thrive in areas affected by fire

An article written by Marshall Helmberger and published by the Ely Timberjay says fire is good for moose. Moose researchers find moose are doing very well in the almost 200,000 acres of recently burned forest within and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Why is it moose prefer these places? According to Mike Schrage, a biologist with the Fond du Lac Reservation, it isn’t just the abundant and healthy browse available after a fire but the lack of winter ticks and land snails. Land snails carry brainworm parasites and moose ingest them accidentally while eating browse. A hot fire clears the landscape of snails and winter ticks allowing moose to thrive.

In order to increase the moose population prescribed burns could be used to create a more suitable habitat. How long do moose stay in these areas and benefit from the fire? The research isn’t conclusive but hopefully along with wolf and deer management the downward trend of the moose population can be slowed if not stopped altogether.

 

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