The BC Wildlife Health Program is seeking the public's help with its latest moose winter tick surveillance program.

Public asked to help with moose tick surveillance program

The BC Wildlife Health Program is once again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province's moose population

  • Jan. 25, 2017 12:00 p.m.

The BC Wildlife Health Program is once again asking for help 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 general public to 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.

Tick infestations can sometimes result in severe behavioural and physiological changes and directly impact the survival rates of moose, especially in younger animals. Winter ticks can also have a significant impact on moose populations when climate and habitat conditions promote high tick numbers.

Winter tick infestations are generally observed on moose from February through April. This type of tick goes through three life stages over the winter on one moose and there can be as many as tens of thousands on one animal.

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. 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 or, alternatively, the electronic survey can be saved and completed on your computer, tablet or mobile device and returned via email to: FLNRMooseTickSurvey@gov.bc.ca

Survey forms and background information can be found on the moose winter tick program page at:http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=908512FE406D4699B303FD4463A69523.

Participants are asked to observe the amount of hair loss, if any, occurring on moose and check the survey box that most accurately describes the animal’s appearance. There are five categories ranging from no hair loss to more than 80 per cent  loss of winter hair.

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 B.C.

Just Posted

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Conservation officers relocate two grizzlies away from Bella Coola

Officers worried the bears would become reliant on human food sources

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Explosives, firearms recovered from weekend standoff in Hagensborg

A high stakes standoff ended peacefully last Friday when single male was arrested without incident

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Most Read