We had a very successful first sampling session at VINS! We sampled at three different sites, two of which are on the VINS campus. When we talk about sampling, we mean that we are observing the local fauna through a couple of different ways.
With the number of tick-borne disease cases increasing in the Northeast, it’s never been more important to understand the ecology of ticks and the diseases that they carry. One way to investigate this is to study the animal communities that serve as hosts to ticks. A better understanding of the animal residents in and around Vermont, their predators, and the number of ticks they have, will provide insights into the local community ecology and may help us to better understand why ticks and their diseases seem to be on the rise. A collaboration between researchers at Dartmouth College and the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences aims to study the impact of local predators on small rodent communities and their tick burdens. This study will use a variety of field ecology methods to study small rodent communities, meso-predators, and ticks.