September 22, 2019

Insistence on Global Warming As the Culprit of Increased Winter Ticks

There is no end to this and I suspect it will continue – the constant ignorant echo-chambering of global warming is going to kill all of us and everything that lives. Damn global warming and damn the computers people have become addicted to that creates fake “computer modeling” and then is plastered throughout cyberspace as an effective means of brainwashing the masses into believing that if man was simply killed off, Nirvana would take over.

A recent article in the Bangor Daily News (Maine) contained information about a Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont ongoing moose study. Any discussion of this study inevitably brings up the subject of moose ticks. It’s kind of a no-brainer that vast amounts of winter ticks, also called moose ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) are killing moose – perhaps too many moose.

The article states information they claim is what limits the growth of winter ticks: “Late summer drought, which kills tick eggs, and early snowfall, which kills larval ticks before they attach to a host like a moose.” Unfortunately, as always, this is misleading information but works well with selling news copies. Also, unfortunately, this nonsense is repeated incessantly throughout all media to a point where people, including wildlife biologists, believe only what they read in the Media.

If you believe the studies and quote information from those studies, then doesn’t it make sense that you should believe everything that’s in the studies?

Late summer drought CAN have an effect on tick larvae survival. It may also have an effect on tick egg survival. Regardless, that effect is quite minimal in the grand scheme of things…that is if you want to believe the studies where these quotes come from. In addition, “early snowfall” might kill tick larvae in a roundabout way, but most likely the event itself will not kill ticks in an all-of-a-sudden happening. That doesn’t stop the ignorance and dishonesty.

One such study tells about drought and snow and cold and its effects on the survival of the winter tick larvae. It has all the regurgitated echo-chamber scientism, graphs, bells, whistles and even information on the use of “computer modeling” in arriving at certain conclusions. I guess left out of these media echo-chamber discussions are important statements like: “While alterations in drought may influence distribution of the winter tick, climate conditions, especially temperature and snowfall in the spring and fall seasons, seem to be the major determinants of northern expansion of D. albipictus.”

Take notice that drought “MAY” influence tick distribution. However, what does this study say about temperatures? It says that the most influential factors in the destruction of winter tick larvae are high and low temperature exposures. For example, direct exposure of 6 hours to low temperatures of -13 F cause tick larvae to begin dying off. And, high temperatures over 114 F will do the same. Media doesn’t bother to read any of these studies and so they rely on what somebody else tells them who also never reads and examines the studies in their entirety.

What do these temperatures mean? When tick larvae are on the ground, prior to climbing vegetation as part of their “questing” event, they are commonly found in the leaves where temperatures effectively never reach 114 degrees F or -13 F, say nothing about doing so for 6 hours or more.

Once the tick larvae leave the protection of the leaf litter, they begin climbing vegetation where they search for a host, i.e the moose. Their “quest” is a host for the winter where they remain mostly protected from climate conditions hiding out in about a 100-degree climate until Spring.

In late Summer and early Fall, during the tick’s quest, they are exposed to the elements while waiting in the vegetation. It is during this time that the tick is vulnerable. What we are never told is that the tick at this stage is most vulnerable to wind. Yes, that’s right, wind. Wind can blow the ticks from the vegetation and return them to the ground. They must then begin their slow ascent back up the vegetation. They might miss their ride. It could kill them in the end.

They are also vulnerable to cold temperatures. In Maine, during September and October, if the tick larvae are exposed to temperatures at or below -13-degrees F for six hours or more, according to this one study, they will begin to die off. If early snow comes and remains on the ground, it will end the quest cycle which in turn will limit the number of ticks waiting to attach themselves to a passing moose. Obviously, a shortened or a lengthened quest cycle will alter the number of animals that take up a tick for the winter.

So, please leave your comments below with data that shows when and how often areas of Maine have seen these climatic conditions that will kill tick larvae in September and October. Hint: I won’t be holding my breath while waiting.

But it’s global warming that is causing the increase in winter ticks. That’s we hear perpetually. Okay, let’s play their game. If global warming, as spoken and written about in the Media, is real, then according to them the average temperature in a place like Maine will increase gradually anywhere from 1 – 5 degrees F over the next half-century. With the information I just gave, and the fact that more than likely the authors of this study are believers in global warming (they indicate as such in their study report) how can it pass the straight face test that small average temperature rises are what is causing ticks to increase in the proportions that they have?

Missing from this study, as we often find in about all studies rooted in global warming mythology, is any discussion about how the number of moose effect the number of ticks. We know from what has been learned that the winter tick could never survive if it didn’t have a host. This study indicates that riding on the back of a moose is the safest place in the world for tick larvae to be. When we examine the life cycle of the winter tick, you don’t have to be an over-paid scientist to understand that to kill the tick is to eliminate any one part of its life cycle. Not much we can do about climatic conditions…no, seriously, there isn’t. Get over it. Grow up! There is so much separation in reality between the conditions of drought, high and low temperatures (in Maine) and the survival of the tick larvae that it appears a waste of time trying to blame it all on global warming when perhaps the answer is really very simple.

I am thus reminded of what a veterinary scientist said not very long ago about moose and moose ticks: “Once (winter ticks are) introduced in a moose population in an area, the only known way to control it is to reduce the moose density, especially calves, so that there are no hosts available,” she said. “It would require an antler-less hunt or even a cull of calves and yearlings, which would not be something that would be easy to sell to the public.”

I have, and will continue to hear, all the nonsense about how, because I am a hunter, I just want to hunt and kill moose. Not exactly true. For example, I am a hunter. I hunt almost 100% only deer. I have never hunted moose, nor have I ever applied for a moose permit to do so. I have no plans for my future to do that either. I like moose meat. I like it a lot. I like deer venison more.

Consider, however, the ignorance of the statement that all I want to do is hunt moose or that all I want is for hunters to hunt moose. Once the moose herd was reduced to levels where events of winter ticks stop their epizoodic levels, hunting of moose will return to a level to maintain a moose herd. There might be a short burst of increased moose hunting to reduce the population, but certainly, it will not continue.

As far as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife managing moose numbers at levels to please the public to be able to see moose, it is time to end that dangerous practice. Growing moose so people can drive around in climate-controlled autos and view moose, needs to end and end now. Look what it is doing to our moose. Are we to allow 50% of our moose calves to suffer a slow death so someone in an SUV can gawk at a moose? Get off your lazy ass and walk in the woods to see moose the way some of the rest of us do.

But nothing will change. Obsessed with global warming and the money and convenient excuses that come with it, enables the creation of more and more useful idiots.

However I must say,

DON’T GO LOOK!

 

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Scientism’s Helpful Echo Chambers

I spent several hours yesterday conducting a deeper, forensic search and examination into what most people would probably consider “scientific” pieces concerning Dermacentor albipictus, or what is most commonly known as the winter tick or a moose tick.

Anyone can do some basic research and discover a few pages of information displayed as conclusions about how the moose (Alces alces) is affected by the winter tick – the most of it being anecdotal evidence. In short, it’s a great example of the modern-day echo chamber that results in dreadful conclusions directed at promoting political agendas and non-scientific balderdash.

If you weed out the obvious and repetitious campfire weenie roasts of those who simply copy and paste someone’s work other than their own, you end up with a small handful of documents most are eager to label as scientific research and scholarship.

An honest approach to the existing pieces of work on winter ticks and moose, will find that the majority of the “research” (I hate to use that term) is geared toward how moose act and react when weighted down with the ticks. Very little is actually written or studied about the tick itself. Too much information written comes from assumptions and speculation.

It’s not that each of these somewhat scientific writings don’t contain useful information but the real problem lies in how to understand what is being written and separating it from the damned nonsense repeated in the media and other echo chambers.

An honest examination of each of these reports shows at least two issues that should prompt a legitimate researcher to, at least, ask some questions. One issue is that, like with most “scientific” papers, preexisting and perhaps precedent-setting conclusions, not necessarily ever challenged or questioned, are readily used by “scientists” to plug into their own work, to make it work, instead of doing their own. Problems abound from this approach even though it has become a readily acceptable form of dishonesty – in effect a bastardization of the scientific process.

The second issue, which leads to the real serious problems of dishonest scholarship, is that we read a lot of “we assume” and “it is believed” and “it could have been” – the list is endless of non specific, unscientifically supported, and troubling nonsense. It appears that these types of “conclusions” are often taken by other scientists, the media, or anyone searching for a narrative to fit their cause, as the gospel and honestly or dishonestly omit any reference to unsubstantiated conclusions.

Examining the text of all these studies, we see often where actual experimentation was given over to assumptions or another researcher’s conclusions, often based upon unproven and untested determinations. In one particular piece of work, the text read that “it was assumed” that the conditions “might have” etc.

In conducting such research, I often look for a common denominator. From there, I try to see if such common themes are the product of echo chambers or conclusions drawn from a person’s own scientific methods and precisely what those methods are. This requires patience and determination.

It appears that, from the few existing scientific papers available on winter ticks and moose, I could assess that each scientist or group of scientists claimed that the biggest factors effecting the viability of winter ticks, either after the engorged female ticks drop off the moose in Spring, during the time the female lays her eggs, or climbing vegetation as hatched new larvae, is weather and habitat. That is weather. They do not say climate. They state weather, and give examples of the kind of weather that can, both negatively and positively, effect the winter tick – wind, humidity, temperatures, dry/drought, etc.

This changing weather effects this tick (Dermacentor albipictus) everywhere that it exists. It is readily found in cold climate areas of Canada and Alaska, as well as in warm climates like Texas.

Echo chambers and those with political agendas, cherry pick incomplete information and dishonest conclusions to repeat the non-scientific nonsense that “Climate Change” is why Maine, and other states, have winter ticks. Odd, as well, is that these same mental midgets of mendacity, seem to have drawn their own conclusions that there are more winter ticks now than ever before. I wonder where they got that from?

We know from historic accounts that moose and winter ticks have been around for a long time. There are reports readily available that give anecdotal evidence of periods of time, from 1900 until present, where large numbers of moose have died off and that it was “believed or assumed” that perhaps the winter tick played a role. What does not exist, is scientific evidence that can tell us if the current level of infestation is greater than, less than, or the same as at any point in history. We simply do not know, but that doesn’t stop the Fake News echo chambers, along with many, many fish and game administrators and their assigns, in perpetuating information that may or may not be true.

Oddly, this attitude and approach puzzles me. What is to be accomplished by insisting on dishonest scientific research? I’m sure, with the brainwashing received in our education factories, few new-age biologists would think that there was anything wrong with simply passing bad information after more bad information, if they are clueless to the quality of the information being dealt with. The trouble is, how does this determine responsible wildlife management that we are told is for the purpose of providing the state with a healthy moose population? One can only think there must be something else behind the action – perhaps job security and perpetuation of political agendas, for surely the interest isn’t focused on the animal.

Maine has had moose long before any of us were around, and along with it has been the winter tick. Maine has had winters before and will continue to have winters. Maine has had “severe” winters and “average” winters. Maine has had “mild” winters. All of these conditions persisted over time and will persist into the future. Pulling the “Climate Change” card is too easy and convenient.

We know that the theory of man-caused climate change cannot and will not be proven. Therefore, it just seems a far too convenient an excuse for anything and everything,  providing the lazy scientist with a prostituted answer requiring no work.

I doubt there is little any biologist can do to mitigate the weather and how it will affect the survivability of the winter tick. If scientists would just get off this dead-end road that leads to global warming, perhaps, once again, some sensible scientific research could be put into place again.

I’m not holding my breath.

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Moose Ticks Have Always Been Here…Or Have They?

WinterTicksFew will disagree that the moose tick, aka, winter tick (dermacentor albipictus) can be a problem and that an over-abundance kills moose. The claim I have heard for many years is that the moose tick has always been around. Has it? Is making the statement using “around” an honest depiction of more important site specificity? What also concerns me about such statements is that it gives people cause to throw up their hands as if to say that there is nothing that can be done about it now. That may be true, but if there is any hope of trying to discover whether there is some kind of effective cure, isn’t it important to have a complete understanding of this tick?

It is basic knowledge that when any specie of animal exists in abundance or is forced into living in close quarters, disease becomes prevalent. The only way a disease can become prevalent in any species, as I just described, is that somehow that disease, parasite, virus, worm, etc. had to have been introduced, or that it already existed.

Being that we are living in a post-normal or post-scientific world, the dishonest answer to everything is climate change, i.e. global warming. While moose populations in Maine have, until the last couple of years, been increasing in large quantities, this reality flies in the face of global warming arguments that because of a warming climate in Maine moose should be migrating out of the area. Doesn’t seem to be the case. This discussion isn’t necessarily about global warming. I bring it up because it is NOT an explanation that helps to discover facts about moose and winter ticks. These ticks live in the Yukon and the same ticks live in Texas.

From a science institution’s perspective, there can never be studies enough on anything. To go along with that, we humans have had our little brains manipulated in such a way that our response to far too many issues has become to demand a study or a working group to talk about it. Studies mean money and money means more incomplete studies in order that there be more demand for more studies. Very unfortunate.

Working groups are useless and a complete waste of time. Over the years I have seen them be created, propaganda presented, and absolutely nothing getting accomplished.

Having said all this, then shouldn’t we question every time someone wants more studies and form more working groups? After all, it is OUR money. We should demand results…real results.

People in Maine want to know if ticks are really killing the moose. This is the same in New Hampshire and Minnesota. New Hampshire and Minnesota insist the problem is global warming. Global warming, in their wee bit of brains, is what is the cause of what they believe to be an increase in dermacentor albipictus.

We are also, perhaps incorrectly, told that these winter ticks don’t survive in cold climates and yet moose love cold climates and seem to be the one species most effected by the tick. If the winter tick doesn’t like cold climates, then why are these same tick regularly found in The Yukon? And in Texas?

One thing we all must understand, moose suck at grooming themselves. It is helpful knowledge to understand that because moose don’t groom themselves, like lots of other wild and domestic animals, they carry around more ticks. We should be able to reasonably conclude that moose are more greatly effected by the ticks than other ungulates, because they are poor groomers.

Another fact that is seldom discussed is which other animals play host to dermacentor albipictus? Here’s a few to add to your list: elk, caribou, deer, feral swine, wolves, coyotes, cattle and horses. In order to understand how to deal with the moose tick we need to understand other hosts and how the tick is spread. Bear in mind that elk and caribou migrate, sometimes over many, many miles. We know over the years feral swine are spreading all over the United States.

But, consider this fact. According to Gabriele Liebisch, Arndt Liebisch, Stephan Paufler in a study, a horse was transported by plane to Germany from Montana:

Already on arrival at the airport of Amsterdam about 30 fully engorged ticks dropped off the horse, and during the following 4 days in the stable in Germany more than 200 engorged ticks were collected. The tick species was identified as Dermacentor albipictus, which is also called ‘winter tick’.

This study refers to this tick as “New World Tick” because it is a different species than what might be found in Germany. Germany has moose but not necessarily the same problem with the tick and the moose…yet.

Other things found in studies already completed that should be considered, involve the feral swine. In a study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, and published on BioOne, feral hogs found in New Hampshire were tested. Remember New Hampshire blames their problem with ticks on global warming.

The expansion of feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations into new geographic regions is of concern not only due to increased range but also because they carry diseases and parasites that pose a threat to humans, livestock, and wildlife into new areas. Recently, emerging feral swine populations have been reported in the northeastern US and due to their adaptive nature will likely continue to spread. During 2009–2012, 49 feral swine were removed from three counties in New Hampshire.

Infestations of winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) were also documented on two of the feral swine which had only been reported previously on feral swine in Texas. Feral swine may not only serve as an important host for an economically important commercial swine pathogen like PRV, but they could also increase host diversity for parasites such as the winter tick, a species that can regionally impact moose (Alces alces) survival.

There’s more. I had already mentioned that these winter ticks were found in the Yukon. Published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, a study on the origins of dermacentor albipictus, showed that perhaps the tick might have hitched a ride to the Yukon.

Winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) on elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) have recently increased in numbers in the Yukon, Canada, potentially posing risks to other indigenous host species in the region.

Based on our results, winter ticks on elk in the Yukon could have originated either by translocation from central Alberta or by northward range expansion of more geographically proximate populations in northern Alberta and British Columbia. Although there was some genetic structuring of winter ticks on different hosts in the same region, we found little evidence of host specificity in winter ticks from five ungulate host species, suggesting that the winter ticks on elk in the Yukon could potentially become established on other locally available host species such as moose (Alces alces).

While on the subject of referencing existing studies, consider that some scientists find that climate and weather have less effect on the growth and reduction of ticks than others believe.

With this knowledge in hand, can we ask for a more definitive response to the origins of the moose tick than it’s always been around? Maybe it hasn’t always been around. Maybe it was brought into your state or region from someplace else or migrated there.

In reading all of this information, wildlife biologists, along with parasitologists, should be asking whether or not it is a good and responsible practice to allow for the over protection of wild species and seek perhaps a better control over human translocation of wild and domestic animals.

Just maybe what is also being realized here are some of the effects of practicing an ignorant, romantic notion of “balance of nature” where nature magically creates a healthy ecosystem where nothing is wrong. With continued and prolonged efforts to protect wild animal species at high levels, are we not promoting the spread of disease, including winter ticks? Nature allows for regulation via disease, starvation and cannibalism. The result is scarcity which is irresponsible stewardship of wildlife and benefits no human. It is the worst of all choices.

Instead of just throwing some grant money at another study to try to find out if ticks are killing moose, why not practice some good, old-fashioned, hard work and research of the information that is available. I don’t want to have somebody else tell me ticks are killing moose. I know they are. What I’m interested in is finding out if there’s a scientific (real scientific) answer for why there appears to be more ticks and how to stop them before more devastation occurs. It seems to me that nobody has a handle on this necessary information. The only cry is about global warming. Get over it!

If there’s more ticks because there’s too many moose, the solution is simple – we need to kill more moose. If the cause is due to translocation of ticks from outside the region, then let’s stop it. Finding the truth is what’s important. Global warming theory is NOT truth. Spending money to see whether or not ticks are killing moose is akin to spending money to discover if snow is cold.

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