This artcile describes the results obtained from a tick survey conducted in Haller park along the Kenyan coastline. The survey aimed at evaluating tick–host associations, assessing tick population density, and providing baseline information for planning future tick control and management in the park. Ticks (2,968) were collected by handpicking from eight species of wildlife and by dragging in 14 selected sites within the park. A considerable proportion of ticks were also collected from leaves, stems, and bark of most dominant trees, namely, Casuarina equisetifolia L. (Forst. & Forst.), Cocos nucifera L., Adansonia digitata L., Musa paradisiaca L., and Azadiracta indica Adr. Juss. Dragging was conducted in sites predominantly occupied by Cynodon dactylon L. (Pers.), Cenchrus ciliaris L., Stenotaphrum dimidiatum L. (Kuntze.) Brongn., and Brachiaria xantholeuca Hack. Ex Schinz Stapf. and Loudetia kagerensis K. Schum. Hutch. Eight tick species were identified, and the collection included Rhipicephalus pravus Dönitz 1910, Rhipicephalus pulchellus Gerstäcker 1873, Hyalomma marginatum rufipes Koch 1844, Amblyomma gemma Dönitz 1910, Amblyomma hebraeum Koch 1844, Amblyomma sparsum Neumann 1899, Amblyomma nuttalli Dönitz 1909, and Boophilus decoloratus Koch 1844. Given that the identified tick species are known to parasitize humans as well as livestock, there exist risks of emergence of zoonotic infections mediated by tick vectors. In the recreational environment of Haller park, where tick vectors share habitats with hosts, there is a need to develop sustainable and effective tick control and management strategies to minimize economic losses that tick infestation may cause.
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Vol. 43 • No. 5