BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Maine's moose population continues to decline because of a devastation caused by the winter ticks. Ticks were reported in great numbers in moose taken during the first week of the hunting season. The proliferation of ticks is caused by warming temperatures.

"Every day when it's warm out and the ticks are moving around is another day for the moose to get more ticks and heavier loads of ticks," said big game biologist Lee Kantar of the state Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department.

Maine has been joined by New Hampshire and Vermont in a moose study program. Helicopters are used to dart the animals and collars are put on. The movement of these moose is tracked, and whenever a moose dies, biologists move in to necropsy the animal.

Kantar has divided Maine into two areas: west and north. He reports that moose mortality is higher in the west.

Moose populations are down across the country. Minnesota has put an end to moose hunting.