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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

BC Wildlife Health Program – Moose Winter Tick Survey

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Wildlife Health Program is asking members of the public for help with observations of hair loss on moose caused by ticks called “Winter Ticks” or Dermacentor albipictus.

Now in its second year, the Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program will monitor the number of animals with hair loss and the extent of hair loss on each animal to estimate winter tick prevalence and distribution.

The extent of hair loss on a moose is a rough indicator of how many ticks are present and can be observed easily for a distance. Participants seeing affected moose are asked to observe and record the amount of hair loss, if any, occurring on moose and submit the completed survey form to Dustin Walsh at Dustin.Walsh@alumni.unbc.ca before April 30, 2016.

Tick infestations are normal but high numbers of ticks can result in behavioural and physiological changes and directly impact the survival of moose. Findings of the Moose Winter Tick Survey will help inform moose management and identify another factor influencing moose populations in British Columbia.

In 2014, British Columbia’s moose population was estimated at between 120,000 to 205,000, with an average range of 162,000.

The cooperation of British Columbians is greatly appreciated. All of the information obtained will be considered strictly confidential and any personal information will not be retained or made available to the public.

If you would like more information on the Moose Winter Tick Survey, please contact Dustin Walsh at (250) 787-3294 or Dustin.Walsh@alumni.unbc.ca.

Moose Winter Tick