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1 June 2011 Density of Ixodes scapularis Ticks on Monhegan Island after Complete Deer Removal: A Question of Avian Importation?
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Abstract

Questing adult blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) abundance declined markedly three years after the 1999 removal of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) from Monhegan Island, ME. Since 2000, subadult ticks have not been found on Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout); questing nymphs have not been found since 2002. This suggested I. scapularis was reintroduced annually via bird importation of subadult ticks, but unable to complete its two-year life cycle on the island due to lack of deer. To investigate this, we used uncertainly analysis to estimate 1) questing adult ticks/ha that would result from avian importation of nymphs, and 2) questing adult ticks/ha on Monhegan Island, using bird capture and tick burden data from Appledore Island, ME, flagged tick data from Monhegan Island, and ten uncertain parameters. During the deer-fed period (1990–2001), estimated tick density on Monhegan Island was 18 times greater than that of imported ticks. During the post-deer-fed period (2002–2008), Monhegan Island tick density was equivalent to imported tick density. This supported the premise that all I. scapularis ticks on Monhegan Island have been bird-derived since 2002.

Susan P. Elias, Robert P. Smith, Sara R. Morris, Peter W. Rand, Charles Lubelczyk, and Eleanor H. Lacombe "Density of Ixodes scapularis Ticks on Monhegan Island after Complete Deer Removal: A Question of Avian Importation?," Journal of Vector Ecology 36(1), 11-23, (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1948-7134.2011.00136.x
Received: 17 February 2010; Accepted: 1 June 2010; Published: 1 June 2011
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