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Moose and Deer Update

David Stainbrook, program manager for Deer and Moose at MassWildlife, explains changes in moose populations

David Stainbrook, program manager for Deer and Moose at MassWildlife, explains changes in moose populations and limitations around their management

David Stainbrook shared the latest news and updates about Moose and Deer in Massachusetts with over 40 people at the North Brookfield Senior Center Thursday evening. David is the Program Manager for Deer and Moose at MassWildlife. The audience was actively engaged in the presentation, with many questions after each presentation.

We first learned about how moose in Massachusetts are at the southern limit of their range, and the warmer weather adds stress. Besides vehicular accidents, two other factors are impacting the moose population – brainworm and winter ticks. We don’t really know how many moose have brainworm and how it affects their longevity, but the combination of moose and deer living in the same area increases the amount of impacted moose. Further north, where there aren’t deer, brainworm does not appear to impact moose. Similarly, winter ticks don’t survive in areas with snow still on the ground in early April. The winter ticks are a problem because they stay on a moose from the fall through early April, drinking blood the whole time. And when there are 30,000 ticks on one moose, that’s a lot of energy spent feeding ticks, rather than growing. The first reported case of a moose found to have perished because of winter tick infestation was in 2014 in Hardwick. The moose population seems to be fairly stable and currently there is no hunting season for moose in Massachusetts.

David showing the changes in deer population over time in different parts of the state.

David showing the changes in deer population over time in different parts of the state.

Second, David shared population figures about White-tailed deer across the state, which MassWildlife has divided up into 14 zones to track and manage their populations. The target population size is between 6 – 18 deer per square mile. The central and western part of the state are within that range. The eastern part of Massachusetts (basically the I-495 belt easterly) is above that range, with highest concentrations on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, followed by the Cape. The declining number of hunters and limited places where hunting can legally take place are significant factors in the deer population rise over the past two decades. One action that is being proposed is to expand the deer archery hunting season by two weeks in the eastern management zones, thus having 8 weeks of archery hunting. The hope is that more deer will be harvested, reducing their populations.

A full crowd at the North Brookfield Senior Center

A full crowd at the North Brookfield Senior Center

Barn Clean-out

We had a great work-day today, re-stacking wood, sweeping the floors and moving out the unusable wood. Now the center aisle is clear and space is open for the E.T.E.A.M. counselors with the summer camp in 2018. Many thanks to Dave, Harrison, Dave, Don, Sherry, Trish, John, John and Cynthia!

Here we are after a couple hours cleaning out the first floor of the Wendemuth barn.

Here we are after a couple hours cleaning out the first floor of the Wendemuth barn.

Catching John consolidating piles of wood out of the center aisle.

Catching John consolidating piles of wood out of the center aisle.

Sweeping up where a wood pile once was.

Sweeping up where a wood pile once was.

 

 

 

We had a great work-day yesterday at Wendemuth Meadow. It was warm enough to take off jackets even away from the burn piles and the breeze helped fan the flames some of the day. Many thanks to Harrison, Becky, John (and his envirologs), Dave, Trish, Tom, Dave, Malachi, Devin, Harlan and Stavros. The hotdogs and s’mores were good too!

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Happy New Year 2018!

People enjoyed a good evening together, sharing home-made food and stories with friends and neighbors from the East Quabbin region. Be sure to join us next year at this holiday tradition!

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Seeing Double??

Donate to the East Quabbin Land Trust tomorrow,

#GivingTuesday 

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Remember every donation made to the East Quabbin Land Trust for #Giving Tuesday will be DOUBLED until we reach our goal of $10,000.  Enjoy the power of two and make your donation count twice as much as EQLT raises the $50,000 it needs by year’s end.

DONATE NOW

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Rolling on the Railings

We had a fabulous morning yesterday – and got the railings back on the trestle bridge at the Mass Central Rail Trail. Watch this quick video to see some snippets of our terrific volunteers in action!

Making Nature Art

20171105_155747webThis afternoon we set off on the blue tagged loop trail at Mandell Hill, on Barre Road in Hardwick. We found all kinds of things to collect and incorporate into our nature art project. We glued and painted tree cookies with our finds — leaves, seeds, moss, acorn caps. A wind chime full of our handiwork is waving in the breeze at the apple tree, just inside the entrance gate.

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New Decking Installed!

The trestle bridge at the Mass Central Rail Trail has new decking! Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the installation. The next step is to put the railings back, which is scheduled to happen next Sunday starting at 9am. Lots of volunteers are needed, so please come out to help.

Bridge Repairs Underway

We had a great work day today. Made lots of progress and will continue replacing the decking next Saturday, beginning at 9am. Hope you can join us!

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