Moose eradicated to tackle ticks

Bookmark and Share

An island off the coast of Fredrikstad that’s used for military exercises had a serious problem with ticks earlier this decade. Then a tick expert proposed hunting down all the moose on the island, and 18 were shot in 2003.

Today there’s nary a tick to be found on the island of Rauøy, reports newspaper VG, and researcher Reidar Mehl says they disappeared with the moose.

Local protests arose over the slaughtering of the moose, which first appeared on the island in the 1980s after either swimming or walking over the ice in winter. Some felt it was an extreme method of getting rid of ticks.

Mehl simply says it worked, calling it a “quick and effective” way to eradicate ticks as well, since they thrived on the moose and can cause the dreaded borrelia infection in humans.

The World Wide Fund for Nature WWF told VG it had no problem with the moose eradication. “In order to address the tick problem, we need to have a lower moose, deer and elk population,” said Christian Pedersen of WWF. He noted there’s now an “extremely high” number of moose in Norway. Mehl also noted that the eradication had minimal effect on other flora and fauna on the island.

By Views and News staff