As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Pathogen-carrying neotropical ticks ride migratory birds into US


Date: October 2, 2015

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Tick species not normally present in the United States are arriving here on migratory birds. Some of these ticks carry disease-causing Ricksettia species, and some of those species are exotic to the US. The research is published on October 2nd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

In the study, the investigators examined thousands of migratory birds that had just arrived in the US, after having flown from Central or South America. Three percent of the birds carried exotic ticks. Based on the total number of migratory birds arriving in the US each spring--in the billions--the investigators estimated that more than 19 million exotic ticks are introduced into the US each spring, said Emily B. Cohen, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC.

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