Birds Are Being Dispatched To Eat Entire Tick Populations
We all know that ticks are a serious public health threat in the northeast portion of the United States, but what can be done about this problem? Ticks are very small, and they carry a number of diseases that infect park goers frequently. Well, according to Eric Powers, a wildlife educator, releasing bobwhite quails into the environment might just work to cut back on tick population numbers.
The bobwhite quail is a ravenous creature that seems to regard a host of different animals as food. Insects are certainly no exception. This quail is fond of grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, caterpillars and lots of ticks. There are some towns in the northeast US that are counting record numbers of disease carrying ticks. This is troubling to residents of these towns since they cannot enjoy a hike without worrying about contracting lyme disease, or one of the many other tick related illnesses. There exists a number of recreational parks in the northeast, and in order for people to feel safe, a solution to the recent spike in lyme cases must be found.
Unfortunately, this highly effective tick predator experienced a decline in population numbers between the 60s and today. In fact, since 1966 eighty five percent of the bobwhite quail population had decreased. Perhaps this could also explain the rise in tick populations. Also, cats often attack bobwhite quails, so anyone living within the northeast should keep them inside.
Powers had the idea to breed whitebob tails by taking his breeding program to schools. During science class, students and teachers will help incubate the tiny quail eggs and then raise the hatchlings as a group. In New York, towns like Smithtown and Northern Hempstead have been putting this program to use, and the students in these areas are responsible for breeding dozens of quails that have made it back into the natural environment to hunt down ticks.
Do you believe that using schoolchildren to breed whitebob quails is akin to acquiring free labor for state sponsored programs? Will this plan actually result in fewer tick populating the northeast?