Parasite Blamed for Declining Minnesota Moose Population
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota researcher is turning to crowdfunding to pay for research of a parasite that kills moose.
The Pioneer Press reports that up to 30 percent of moose are killed by the brainworm parasite, which is transmitted through snails and slugs.
The parasite invades a moose's brain. It debilitates it, making the animal unable to eat or evade predators.
Tiffany Wolf is an assistant professor of veterinary population medicine at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine. Wolf aims to raise $6,000 to fund her collection of slug and snail DNA in order to determine which types carry the parasite.
A survey by the state Department of Natural Resources says there are about 3,700 moose in the state, compared to more than 8,800 moose in 2006.