PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine is looking for forest landowners to assist with its survey of tick populations in the state.
Researchers at UMaine developed a tick surveillance program that covers southern and coastal counties in the state. Land managers and citizen scientists collect the ticks, which are then identified and tested for pathogens, the university said.
The project will also help better understand the relationship between land management and exposure to tick-borne diseases, the university said.
The 2020 citizen science report found that “adult tick populations last year were robust in the early summer, but the nymph populations were greatly reduced compared to recent years,” UMaine said in a statement. That was likely the result of the hot, dry mid-summer weather, the university said.
The report said more than 25% of blacklegged tick nymphs tested were carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.