Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

COS Moose Winter Tick Monitoring Program

Be a Part of B.C.’s Moose Winter Tick Monitoring Program.

The BC Wildlife Health Program is looking for help from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts and the general public with observations of hair loss caused by “Winter Ticks” on moose throughout the province.  The Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program wants to collect observations to monitor the number of animals with hair loss and the amount of hair loss on each animal to estimate winter tick prevalence and distribution.  This program occurs on an annual basis.  Winter ticks are a significant parasite for moose populations and can contribute to moose declines in parts of their range, including BC.  So, it is an important health factor to monitor, particularly with climate change and alterations to moose habitat.  The findings of the surveillance program will contribute to the Provincial Moose Research Program, which was initiated in 2013 to investigate factors influencing moose populations in BC.  This is the seventh year of the program; last year we received 426 reports of moose from across the province.

Winter tick infestations can be observed on moose during January through April.  The ticks spend the entire winter on one moose and there can be as many as tens of thousands on one individual.  As the female ticks become adults they feed on blood in late winter and the irritation causes moose to scratch and groom themselves excessively, resulting in hair loss.  The extent of the hair loss is a rough indicator of how many ticks are present and can be observed easily from a distance.  We know that tick infestations can result in behavioral changes or direct health impacts that may reduce moose survival.
We hope that you may be interested in contributing to this surveillance program by recording your observations of both healthy and infected moose during the winter and spring.

IMPORTANT – HOW TO SUBMIT A SURVEY:

There are several methods of documenting moose winter tick observations.  Please choose the methods that are most convenient for you.

  1.  An online survey. Simply go to www.gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/mooseticksurvey  and click on “Complete the online form” on the right side of the page.
  2. An electronic .PDF version of the moose winter tick survey that can be filled in on your computer and returned via email. The form can be downloaded the form from the website above.
  3. An electronic .PDF version of the moose winter tick survey that can be filled in on your mobile device and/or tablet. Please download the free Acrobat Reader App for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices. On your mobile device, please download the survey attached to this email or from the website above and open the survey using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  4. An app is now available. On your iOS Products including Apple iPhone and iPad, open the App Store and search for "Survey123" by ESRI OR on your Android device (Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nexus and Sony Products), open the "Google Play Store" App and search for "Survey123" by ESRI. Download the app, but do not open it yet. Click on the following link: https://arcg.is/DLHOO. Follow the prompts. You should now be able to view the survey form.  For more information on the app see the attachment.


Please return all completed surveys to: FLNRMooseTickSurvey@gov.bc.ca

If you would prefer to receive paper hard-copies of the survey, please email your mailing address and a survey will be sent to to you promptly.

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