Tick Research Updates From the Field – Season Wrap Up

Jim Armbruster – Research Coordinator

Jim Armbruster holds a shrew prior to release

August marked the last round of mammal trapping as part of our collaborative research project with Dartmouth PhD student Kaitlin McDonald. Trapping was conducted at the two sites at VINS and the newest site in Hanover. The data collected from this summer of trapping and tick drags will be analyzed over the winter while the game cameras will remain deployed year round to continue monitoring the sites. The preliminary results from the field are listed below.

Total SpeciesCountRecaptures
White-footed mouse/deer mouse (Peromyscus spp.)24098
Flying squirrel (Glaucomys spp.)4
Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)3
Meadow Jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius)1
American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)1
Northern Short-tail shrew (Blarina brevicauda)1
Table showing the number of captures and recaptures by species.
Kaitlin McDonald counts ticks on the ear of a mouse

The total population of each species can be estimated for the study site by using the total number of trap nights, combined with the numbers of captures and recaptures. An inventory of tree species at each site will also be conducted to determine the structure of the natural community present at each location. Planning for next summer is already under way with hopes to increase the number of sample sites and to mark each individual mouse to better track its movements throughout the study area.

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