THE WINTER TICK, DERMACENTOR ALBIPICTUS (PACKARD, 1869) ON MOOSE, ALCES ALCES (L.), OF CENTRAL ALBERTA
Dead or dying moose with massive infestations of the winter tick were found in Elk Island National Park, central Alberta, during March-April, 1977 with evidence of a widespread epizootic of at least 2 years’ duration. Skins of 74 moose, most from the Park, were collected from December 1977 to April 1978 and examined for ticks. Methods for determining total numbers and locations of ticks on moose are presented. Concentrations of ticks are correlated with patterns of hair loss in late winter-spring. All age classes of moose averaged over 10,000 ticks/moose with most over 20,000. Some animals were practically hairless by late April, presumably due to ticks, but many apparently survived. Results suggest that D. albipictus is the most serious pest of moose in Alberta. The life cycle is reviewed.
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