Lichtenwalner Featured in National Geographic Article on Moose, Ticks

Anne Lichtenwalner, a University of Maine professor, veterinarian and director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, was featured in the National Geographic article “What’s a ghost moose? How ticks are killing an iconic animal.” Sightings of ghost moose, an animal so irritated by ticks that it rubs off most of its dark brown hair, exposing its pale undercoat and bare skin, have increased in recent years around New England, according to the article. Biologists say climate change is likely the reason for the shorter, warmer winters that are boosting winter tick populations, the article states. Lichtenwalner, who studies the lungs of moose calves who die in the wild, has found that up to 80 percent of the animals she sees have abnormal lung tissue consistent with lungworm, a common parasite in Maine moose that restricts air movement in the lung. “There you go — we’ve got winter tick and we’ve got lungworm — that’s our problem here in Maine,” Lichtenwalner said.