Neighboring states have reported a sudden decrease in their deer population. While this hasn’t been a rampant problem in Massachusetts, wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on this startling statistic. An epizootic viral hemorrhagic disease was the culprit which primarily affected white-tailed deer as the bite of a poisonous insect known as ‘midge’ causes a sudden decrease in the deer population.
Reports say this problem worsened north of the border in New Hampshire’s Merrimack County and in neighboring Connecticut, two deer died in Goshen and Kent, both located in Litchfield County. Three other casualties were reported in the East Haddam area of Constitution State. A large outbreak was recently attributed to New York State last year.
Environmental officials said the situation was made worse by midges (which are also known in the entomological world as no-see-ums, sand midges and sandflies) usually preparing their attack while deer drink from stagnant water which is also a breeding ground. for mosquitoes. These incidents occur mainly when drought situations worsen because the lack of water gives the opportunity for these vipers to attack their prey.
Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Martin Feehan said the many deaths could spread across the Bay State:
“We haven’t had any positive cases so far, but we are monitoring it closely this year and with the situation in neighboring states, we have been vigilant with testing”
Some of the symptoms include the animal showing signs of swelling on the face and neck, high fever, dehydration, foaming at the mouth, and abnormal behavior including a lack of fear of people. Keep in mind that humans are not prone to EHD infection as they will suffer setbacks if bitten by midges, but you should be vigilant given the circumstances. If you spot a deer suffering from any of the setbacks mentioned, it is advisable to contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police or MassWildlife Headquarters.
(Some information obtained from this article courtesy of the Boston Herald)