Title

Tracking Potential Hosts of Amblyomma maculatum through Wildlife Cameras

Presenting Author Name/s

Amanda DeVleeschower

Faculty Advisor

Holly Gaff

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Biology | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Other Animal Sciences | Population Biology

Description/Abstract

In the United States, tick-borne diseases are the most common vector-borne diseases threatening both human and animal health. In 2010, established populations of Amblyomma maculatum were found in both Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. Little is known about the animals that serve as hosts for A. maculatum ticks in Virginia, as the majority of these ticks collected by researchers have been collected by flagging. To identify potential hosts in habitats where A. maculatum populations are established, we set up wildlife cameras in three locations: Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve, Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Two cameras were set at each location: one in A. maculatum preferred habitat (open grassy areas), one in a nearby habitat where A. maculatum are rarely found (wooded area). Wildlife camera data were collected throughout the month of June at all three locations. Using the photos from the wildlife cameras, we were able to count the frequency of animals photographed at each location. By identifying host count differences between A. maculatum habitat and A. maculatum free habitat, we can narrow down the list of potential hosts of A. maculatum. The most commonly found animal was the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and there were more deer in the A. maculatum free habitat at two of the three sites.

Session Title

Biological Sciences 2

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

Start Date

2-2-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 11:15 AM

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Feb 2nd, 10:15 AM Feb 2nd, 11:15 AM

Tracking Potential Hosts of Amblyomma maculatum through Wildlife Cameras

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

In the United States, tick-borne diseases are the most common vector-borne diseases threatening both human and animal health. In 2010, established populations of Amblyomma maculatum were found in both Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. Little is known about the animals that serve as hosts for A. maculatum ticks in Virginia, as the majority of these ticks collected by researchers have been collected by flagging. To identify potential hosts in habitats where A. maculatum populations are established, we set up wildlife cameras in three locations: Mutton Hunk Fen Natural Area Preserve, Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Two cameras were set at each location: one in A. maculatum preferred habitat (open grassy areas), one in a nearby habitat where A. maculatum are rarely found (wooded area). Wildlife camera data were collected throughout the month of June at all three locations. Using the photos from the wildlife cameras, we were able to count the frequency of animals photographed at each location. By identifying host count differences between A. maculatum habitat and A. maculatum free habitat, we can narrow down the list of potential hosts of A. maculatum. The most commonly found animal was the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and there were more deer in the A. maculatum free habitat at two of the three sites.