Moose may be in decline in N.Y.

Starting around 2010, not just in New York but in New Hampshire and Vermont, the number of vehicle-m

There’s no reasonable scenario in which a moose ought to be hanging out in the southern Saratoga County suburbs.

Yet there was one of the massive critters living earlier this winter in Clifton Park’s Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve, a few hundred acres of swampy wild in the middle of the Knolls. Local residents spotted it.

Then, on Jan. 10, it was found dead. The state Department of Environmental Conservation did a necropsy, and found it had suffered from brain worm.

The question is whether that and similarly unhappy fates are what lie ahead for New York’s moose population, just as wildlife enthusiasts were gaining hope that the moose would be firmly re-established in New York state.

I’ve been on the wildlife beat long enough to remember when the only moose seen in New York were those driven mad by brain worm. But in the 1990s, healthy moose began moving into the Adirondacks from New England and Canada, to the point where a few years ago biologists estimated there might by 800.

Then something curious happened.

Starting around 2010, not just in New York but in New Hampshire and Vermont where thousands of moose inhabit the forests, the number of vehicle-moose collisions began to drop.

And nobody thinks it’s because “moose ahead” warning signs are more effective than they used to be.

So last year DEC and several partner organizations launched a three-year study of what the future of moose in New York may be. They’ve even radio-collared a dozen or so in northern New York.

There are known to be clusters of moose in northern Saratoga County, in Edinburg’s great swamp, and also in Hamilton County, north of Speculator in Perkins Clearing, but DEC hasn’t been able to collar any of them.

The goal of the study is to get a better handle on the size of the moose population, and determine what factors may be limiting it. Nobody is ruling out the impact of global warming on an animal designed with frigid winters in mind.

“We’re at the southern edge of their range,” said Sharon Tabor, a DEC wildlife technician who made a presentation to the Adirondack Park Agency board on Thursday.

The best guess — and it is a guess — is that there are about 400 moose in the state today, basically all of them in the Adirondacks.

Here comes the juice

GlobalFoundries uses enough electricity to power a small city. Not surprisingly, getting enough power into the depths of Luther Forest has turned out to be a major challenge for the two utilities that serve the technology campus.

In another measure to address the power needs of GlobalFoundries and other future tenants of the technology park, New York State Electric and Gas announced Friday it has energized a new $14 million substation, located next to the established National Grid substation.

The station will supply electricity to GlobalFoundries (as National Grid also does) and also serve about 8,000 customers in Stillwater previously served by the Mulberry substation outside Mechanicville.

Substations, since NYSEG figured you’d ask, are used to take in high-voltage power from transmission lines and reduce the voltage so that the electricity is suitable for local consumption.

The project has increased system reliability while also supporting economic development, said Mark S. Lynch, NYSEG’s president and CEO.

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