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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

The unworldly hot weather this Spring and Summer has caused the deer tick population to exponentially explode,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rhode Island is experiencing population levels 80% larger than a year ago--142% above the previous 5 year average!!!!!-----Lymes Disease can be so hard to treat if it is ignored or misdiagnosed early on.................Truly sucks(excuse my French) that tjhe woods, fields and even your backyard lawns can be dangerous to frequent..............It is not just Deer, but just about every small mammal and bird that carry the ticks to new locales............Likely evolving in Europe, the lymes spyrochete bacterium hitched a ride to this Country at some point in the late 20th century and found our manipulated and predator free forests and fields to their liking-----Need Wolves and Pumas back in the woods,,,,,,,,,,,,along with bobcats, coyotes and foxes to minimize the small mammal populations.................Lymes is here to stay---How do we best cope and manage it, lowering its incidence?

Deer Tick population soaring in RI

Risk of contacting Lyme Disease is especially high

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. ( - A University of Rhode Island entomologist is warning that deer tick numbers in Rhode Island are up significantly, so the risk of contracting Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases is especially high.

Not always does a bullseye rash show up on skin after bite occurs

The number of deer ticks is 80% over 2011 levels and 142% above the previous 5-year average.

Thomas Mather, director of the URI Center for Vector-Borne Disease and  the TickEncounter Resource Center, reports that his tick surveillance team has completed the first round of tick sampling at all 60 of the sites monitored for the past 18 years, and he is alarmed at this year's increases.  

a highly magnified deer tick---they are the size of this period .

At one site in East Greenwich where sample counts are typically 14-20 nymphal deer ticks in 90 samples, this year the team collected 187 ticks.  

Sites in Bristol, Tiverton and Johnston, among other places, also saw triple digit percentage increases compared to last year.  

A second round of surveillance has already begun, and so far, the counts are coming in higher than in round one.

white footed mouse with deer tick attached to its side

Mather said that unlike other models used to predict tick encounter and Lyme disease risk, his research has shown that nymphal deer tick abundance and disease rates are determined by relative humidity levels in June.  

Higher humidity means greater tick survival, more tick encounters and more disease. Episodes of low humidity, even as brief as 8-10 hours, causes nymphal deer ticks to dry out and die earlier in the tick season.

TickSmart tips :
  • Pay closer attention to the type of tick you come in contact with
  • Do daily tick checks
  • Always wear tick repellent
Mather will participate in a press conference with Senator Jack Reed and Lyme disease officials from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday, July 9 at 11:00 at the Department of Health auditorium in Providence.  

At the event, Sen. Reed will call for a national strategy to combat the disease and expand federal research efforts to increase surveillance and prevention

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