An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the moose winter tick program website: www.gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/mooseticksurvey. (Black Press Media file photo)

Moose winter tick survey needs public input

Winter tick infestations can be observed on moose during January through April

Ever considered being a citizen scientist? Do you spend lots of time in areas that are inhabited by moose?

The BC Wildlife Health Program is asking for your help in assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals and the public to monitor the number of moose with hair loss and assess the amount of hair loss on each individual. This information is used to estimate the overall prevalence and distribution of winter ticks.

Tick infestations can result in behavioural and physiological changes that may directly affect the survival rates of moose, especially in younger individuals. Winter ticks can contribute to moose population declines, especially when climate change and habitat conditions promote high tick numbers.

Read More: Moose on the loose

Winter tick infestations can be observed on moose during January through April. The ticks spend the entire winter on one host. There can be tens of thousands of ticks on one moose.

As the female ticks mature, they feed on the blood of the moose in late winter. The irritation causes moose to scratch and groom themselves excessively, resulting in hair loss and less time spent foraging or resting, which can lead to weight loss. The extent of hair loss on a moose can be observed easily from a distance and is a rough indicator of how many ticks are present.

Anyone interested in contributing to this surveillance program can fill out a survey online. Alternatively, the electronic survey can be saved and completed on a computer, tablet or mobile device and returned via email to: FLNRMooseTickSurvey@gov.bc.ca

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the moose winter tick program website: www.gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/mooseticksurvey.

The findings of the surveillance program will contribute to the Provincial Moose Research Program, which was initiated in 2013 to investigate factors influencing moose populations in British Columbia.

For more information, email: FLNRMooseTickSurvey@gov.bc.ca.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

++

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Letter: Lets stay strong

By Gerry Thiessen, Mayor of Vanderhoof March 27, 2020 It’s been two… Continue reading

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Here are some changes to the Fraser Lake Community Paramedicine program amidst COVID-19

Jessica Wurst, community paramedic in Fraser Lake answers some questions about her role in the community as well

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read