BODY TEMPERATURE OF CAPTIVE MOOSE INFESTED WITH WINTER TICKS

Edward M. Addison, Robert F. McLaughlin, Peter A. Addison

Abstract


Eighteen captive moose calves (Alces alces) were divided into 3 groups that represented 3 levels of winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) infestation (0, 21,000, and 42,000 ticks). A total of 321 body temperatures (Tb) were taken on 19 occasions between late November and mid-April. The mean Tb of individuals was 38.2 ± 0.4 °C, ranging from 38.0–38.3 °C, and was not different among the control and infested groups (P = 0.816), but varied temporally (P < 0.001) with a significant interaction effect between treatment and time (P = 0.041); these temporal differences are unexplained. The Tbs measured in this study are some of the lowest reported for moose and presumably represent the resting Tb of free-ranging moose, more so than those measured after pursuit, restraint, and/or immobilization during capture. This was not a definitive test of the effects of tick infestation on wild moose because the captive moose consumed a high quality diet throughout winter and surprisingly low numbers of ticks remained on the animals in mid-April.

Keywords


Physiology;Disease

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