background_mobile_2

2022 > 01

A microscope, forceps, and sometimes a thin probe, are needed when classifying the ticks. (Photo: Gunnar Jansson) A microscope, forceps, and sometimes a thin probe, are needed when classifying the ticks. (Photo: Gunnar Jansson)

In midwinter, when fewer field surveys are running, SITES´ data collection continues indoors. One project is to go through tick (Ixodes) material from last summer and the physical samples from marked animals.
 

After collection in the field, samples are stored in Cryo freezers (-80°C), until they can be analyzed. Tick occurrence and frequency in different habitats are estimated using a specific survey method (“flagging”), but ticks are also collected from wild animals that are handled, e.g. voles (Microtus spp.) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). 

Every season hundreds of ticks are collected and good organization is needed to keep track of all these tiny samples. (Photo: Gunnar Jansson ) Every season hundreds of ticks are collected and good organization is needed to keep track of all these tiny samples. (Photo: Gunnar Jansson )

The ticks are later sent to project partners (e.g. National Veterinary Institute) for analyses of potential pathogens since the risk of zoonoses related to climate change has received more attention in recent years.
 

Tissue- and blood samples from marked animals are also checked and digitalized over the winter. For roe deer, these data are used to construct a scheme of relatedness (pedigree) among individuals in the local population, with samples from >500 animals collected in recent decades.

The SITES Secretariat wishes our community, friends and associates a good start in the New Year. We hope that despite the ongoing pandemic a way back to a normal life with regular activities like in-person meetings, workshops and travel will be possible this year. There are many exciting things to look forward to in 2022, not least the transition into a new funding phase.
We wish you endurance for the probably still tough weeks ahead and stay healthy!

Photo: Holger Villwock
Photo: Holger Villwock

Latest News

Archive