Neighboring states have reported a sudden decrease in their deer population. Even though this has not been a rampant problem in Massachusetts, wildlife officials are closely keeping tabs on this surprising statistic. A epizootic hemorrhagic viral disease has been the culprit which has affected mainly white tailed deer as the bite of a toxic insect known as a "midge" is causing a sudden decrease in the deer population.

White-Tailed Deer Buck

Reports indicate this problem has escalated north of the border in New Hampshire's Merrimack county and in neighboring Connecticut there were two deer deaths in Goshen and Kent, both located in Litchfield county. Three other casualties have been reported in the Constitution state's East Haddam area. A large outbreak recently was attributed in New York state last year.

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Environmental officials stated the situation was escalated by midges (who are also known in the entomological world as no-see-ums, sand gnats and sand flies) usually prepare their attack while deer are taking a drink in standing water which is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These incidents occur mainly when drought situations escalate as a lack of water provides the opportunity for these vipers to attack their prey.

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman, Martin Feehan cited these numerous deaths could spill into The Bay State:

"We haven't had any positive cases so far, but we are keeping a close eye on it this year and with the situation in neighboring states we have been vigilant with testing"

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Some of the symptoms include the animal showing signs of swelling on their faces and neck, high fever, dehydration, frothing at the mouth and abnormal behavior including a lack of fear for people. Keep in mind, humans are not subject to infection from EHD as they will suffer setbacks if bitten by midges, but you need to be vigilant, given the circumstances. If you spot a deer suffering from any of the setbacks mentioned, it is advisable to contact Massachusetts Environmental Police or MassWildlife headquarters.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of The Boston Herald)

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