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Old 03-02-2016, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Biodiversity still best aid in tick borne disease control.

Fox family living in your area? Opossum climbing your fence. Voles in the garden? Any creature that helps control the small rodent population is helpful but some do more than others. Some creatures eat the ticks and groom away all they come in contact with and do not get tick borne disease to spread. An area with a diverse population of wildlife will be less likely to have an abundance of disease carrying ticks. Ticks are not born with disease nor do they pass along to their young. The tick must bite a creature carrying the disease to pass on to another creature. Keep your eyes open this spring and be thankful for all the small creatures as they all have a place in the habitat community.

the tick-borne disease equation, with dr. rick ostfeld of cary institute - A Way To Garden
The Tick-borne Disease Equation, with Dr. Rick Ostfeld of Cary Institute

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But there are also a number of other players involved, protective animals. Our research has really been directed at asking: What’s the role of animal diversity in influencing our health, particularly when it comes to tick-borne disease? What we find in general is that high animal diversity has a pretty strongly protective effect when it comes to tick-borne disease. Not just Lyme, but babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and these other tick-borne infections.

Q. So high animal diversity is good in many ways, and this is one more example.
A. That’s right. Many people value diversity—we don’t want to see species disappear, much less go extinct. In many cases the reasons for valuing it are ethical or moral, and rarely are they actually utilitarian: Is there something specific that this high diversity is doing for our benefit, for our well-being?
There is a lot of research going on in the ecological community asking that very question: Are there utilitarian values of biodiversity? And indeed, the more we look, the more we find examples.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:41 PM   #2
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I like the article gloria, I like that opossums groom away the ticks, "hoovering" them so to speak. I also learned that the black legged tick which causes these diseases is not really a deer tick but it is mostly responsible for transmitting disease to white footed mice. More reason to trap those guys that like to invade our house in winter.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #3
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Great article! Go possums, tick killers extraordinaire!

I also hadn't realized that possums as well as raccoons and possums help control mouse populations. I hope they eat voles, too.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:38 PM   #4
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Great info.

Now to spread the word.

If more people who aren't motivated by ethical or moral reasons come to recognize other benefits to wildlife biodiversity, then, in supporting this, one would naturally have to support biodiversity of native plants to support the wildlife. All benefit--saving species and making our own lives healthier.
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