Host hair loss over the winter: patchy mooses may be ticky mooses

A reminder to keep an eye out this winter for moose and other host animals (caribou, deer, elk) with patchy hair.

Winter ticks often cause very distinctive hair loss patterns on their hosts - broken hair or bald patches of skin may be visible on the rump, shoulders and neck of infested animals.

Moose with a high number of winter ticks may rub and break their hair resulting in a white-ish appearance (often known as "ghost moose"). Understanding how many animals are affected one year, and how badly, may be a good predictor of the likely tick-burdens for moose the next.

Upload your photos of moose and other hosts to iNaturalist, and join our project here, to help us keep a track of likely winter tick infestations over the winter season.

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Posted on January 16, 2019 02:57 PM by emilychenery emilychenery | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Help inform ongoing scientific research and management of winter tick parasite in Yukon by submitting your observations of ticks or their hosts here.

Winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) are a relatively new species to Yukon, but common elsewhere in North America. They mainly feed on cervid species: moose, elk, deer and caribou. Winter ticks do not feed on humans or dogs, and ...more ↓

Mini emilychenery created this project on March 26, 2018

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