FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Wildlife Program is asking for help in assessing effects from ticks when it comes to the moose population in the province.
The annual moose winter tick surveillance program looks at observations from wildlife professionals and also the public. They monitor the number of animals with hair loss, assess the amount of hair loss on each animal and estimate the overall prevalence and distribution of winter ticks.
The Wildlife program says that winter tick infestations are usually observed from February to April and infestations came sometimes result in severe behavioural as well psychological changes. It can also impact the survival rate of moose.
The ticks can go through 3 life stages over a winter.
“As the ticks mature, they feed on the blood of the animal and can cause anaemia. In late winter, tick irritation causes moose to scratch and groom themselves excessively, resulting in hair loss and less time spent foraging, which can lead to weight loss.”
Anyone interested in contributing to the surveillance program can fill out a survey online or the electronic survey can be saved and completed on your computer, tablet or mobile device and returned through email to: FLNRMooseTickSurvey@gov.bc.ca