This month

May 2019

Deer cull program survives as Ann Arbor council adopts new city budget, MLive, May 21, 2019Council Member Jeff Hayner’s proposal to eliminate funding for the deer management program was defeated with an 8-2 vote, with only Mayor Christopher Taylor supporting the move.

Michigan Traffic Crash Facts

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Deer culls are associated with reducing vehicle collisions from the pre-cull peak of 90 in 2015.
Deer vehicle crashes in City of Ann Arbor in 2018: 55 (3rd cull)
Deer vehicle crashes in City of Ann Arbor in 2017: 56 (2nd cull)
Deer vehicle crashes in City of Ann Arbor in 2016 73 (year of first cull)
Deer vehicle crashes in City of Ann Arbor in 2015 90
Deer vehicle crashes in City of Ann Arbor in 2014 51

Hunters would be protected from cell phone harassment under House bill, MLive, May 21, 2019House Bill 4340, sponsored by state Rep. John Reilly, R-Oakland Township, would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to make it illegal to record someone who is lawfully taking an animal or fish.
Yes, there are a lot more Lyme disease-carrying ticks in Pa. today: Penn State study, PennLive, May 8, 2019The tick responsible for most cases of Lyme diseases has boomed from nearly non-existence in Pennsylvania in the 1960s to the most commonly found tick across the state today, according to Penn State researchers. They believe the blacklegged tick population might have exploded in recent years because timber that was cut down around 1900 is growing back and providing ticks with an expanded habitat, increasing their contact with people.

Turning up the heat on ticks: Couple invent dryer bag to toss your clothes in, Pittsburgh’s Action News, May 8, 2019Michael and Abbey Novotny, of Slippery Rock, Butler County, say they’ve created something that can stop ticks before they get inside the house. “The Termitick is a bag that you place your clothes in after coming in from the outdoors, and then you take the entire bag and throw it in the dryer,” Michael Novotny said. High heat from the dryer kills the bugs, and the bag keeps the dead ones contained, the Novotnys said. “If you wash your clothes first, it actually gives the ticks moisture, where they will survive the dry cycle.”

Those deer on your lawn? They’re delivering disease-ridden ticks to your doorstep, USA Today, May 7, 2019“The phenomena of deer in more places and in ever-increasing proximity to people is, I think, the largest factor affecting the ticks-in-more-places trend,” said Mather, who calls springtime “almost a perfect storm” for ticks. Black-legged ticks that carry Lyme disease “are far and away most responsible for tick-borne diseases,” he said. Tick-borne disease cases more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Lyme disease accounted for 82% of all cases. Efforts to manage deer have been too little, too late, DeNicola said, and quiet residential areas.
What’s needed is a paradigm change, DeNicola said, for Americans to view deer less like majestic Bambis and more like health threats that spread diseases.

Tick season in Michigan: How to stay safe as lyme disease risk spreads east, Click On Detroit, May 3, 2019 Tick season has arrived in Michigan – and that’s not a good thing. Although ticks can spread multiple illnesses, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in Michigan. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the blacklegged/deer tick. Typical clinical signs of Lyme Disease include flu-like symptoms however, if left untreated may spread to joints, the heart, and/or the nervous system. The majority of cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Finding and removing ticks promptly can prevent Lyme disease.

<Research continues on fatal deer disease, Illinois Farmer Today, May 1, 2019“A real concern is that these prions can build up in the soil and can be incorporated into the roots of plants, and into the vegetative material as well. They don’t decay very rapidly. They can remain for period of five years in the soil.”
In parts of Wisconsin, it’s infecting more than every other adult male in the deer population, Dufford said. The rate has been doubling every four to five years.

April 2019

Torrington school bus crashes into tree to avoid deer, Fox 61, April 30, 2019 A bus driver told police she swerved to avoid a deer Tuesday morning, crashing into a tree with students on board.

Three deer crash college baseball game in Cleveland, Fox 61, April 30, 2019In the bottom of the first against Brandeis University, a trio of deer hopped the fence at Nobby’s Ballpark in Cleveland. The animals trotted across to left field, where players opened a gate. But the group opted to go back across to the right field fence to make an exit.

Even in a Michigan outdoor paradise, ticks are a growing public health threat, Detroit Free Press, April 29, 2019Ticks are usually one-third to one-quarter inch in size. They attach themselves to your skin and become engorged on your blood. The state has published a 16-page guide on ticks and preventing tick-borne illnesses.
While ticks tend to be more abundant in counties along the Lake Michigan coast, they also live and have been spotted this spring throughout metro Detroit and many other parts of the state.
One of the illnesses that ticks spread is Lyme disease and in the past two decades, the number of human Lyme disease cases in the state has steadily been on the rise, increasing from about 30 a year to more than 300.

New Study Highlights Ups and Downs in Tick Management, Entomology Today, April 25, 2019Bait boxes and “tick tubes” both take advantage of rodent behavior to expose ticks to pesticides. The former takes the common rodent bait box design and adds an extra element: a cloth wick soaked in tick-killing acaricide that the animal must contact on its way in and out of the box. Tick tubes, on the other hand, are filled with cotton—also infused with acaricide—for rodents to use for nesting material. In both cases, ticks that are attached to the rodent host, or attach soon after, die after exposure to the acaricide.

Blood, Microbiomes And Lyme Disease: For Ticks, Diet Makes A Difference, VPR, April 25, 2019New research show that a deer tick’s diet – what kind of animal it drinks blood from – can significantly alter the tick’s microbiome. That, in turn can impact whether the tick is likely to pass on pathogens like the ones that cause Lyme disease.

Port Jefferson plans deer cull, as deer population is estimated at up to 500, Newsday, April 23, 2019Port Jefferson plans to have its first deer cull next winter to contend with what officials say is a marked increase of bucks, does and fawns in the North Shore village. Village residents are fed up with seeing deer grazing in their yards and crashing into them on Port Jefferson’s narrow, winding roads. She estimated the village has become home to 400 to 500 deer, which congregate mostly in the community’s rustic eastern section near the Port Jefferson Country Club. Some North Shore residents say they have seen 20 to 30 deer at a time, munching on their vegetable gardens, and officials said collisions between cars and deer have spiked in recent years. Garant said about 30 village residents at a recent community meeting were unanimous in supporting the cull.

Is Sterilization the Answer to Too Many Urban Deer?, Sierra Club, April 23, 2019DeNicola may be the only person in the country studying whether sterilization is an effective way to reduce urban deer populations. But DeNicola’s efforts seem to be working. His doe sterilization program has been going on in a corner of the city since 2015, and so far the numbers look good. DeNicola has documented a 19 percent decline in the deer population. That’s in keeping with data he has gathered from four other sites around the country that saw major drops after three years of doe sterilization: 34 percent in Cayuga, New York, 20 percent in Fairfax, Virginia, 47 percent on the National Institute of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and 37 percent in a gated community in San Jose, California.

Michigan is spending $4.7 million to fight ‘zombie’ deer disease, Detroit Free Press, April 22, 2019Mason said the goal is to keep the disease in check, with less than 1% of the deer population infected. When the infection rate breaches 1%, he said, it’s virtually impossible to get rid of it.
“You could literally eradicate all the deer in the area, repopulate with deer, and those deer would get sick,” he said.

New DNR grants target deer disease — before disease targets us, DetroitNews, April 22, 2019The DNR will parcel out up to $4.7 million in new grants to help protect the state’s deer, elk and moose. Partnering with Michigan State University, the DNR hopes to find new ammunition in the fight against an invariably fatal ailment that could ultimately affect everything the agency does. The vast majority of our resources come from license dollars,” Mason said, “and in a state as deer-centric as Michigan, most of that is deer related. Virtually everything we do for wildlife, game or non-game; for threatened or endangered species; for sensitive habitats — all of that is balanced on our license structure.”
If the deer population becomes decimated, he said, so will the DNR budget, taking a toll on “all those things people enjoy.”

Driver and Passenger Die After SUV Hits Deer and Trees, USNews, April 22, 201929-year-old driver and his 27-year-old passenger died when an SUV hit a deer on a state highway, then ran off the road and hit several trees.

Driver injured after deer crashes into van during rush hour on Route 22, LehighValleyLive, April 19, 2019A driver suffered minor injuries after a deer ran onto Route 22 during rush hour and crashed into a van. Gahman was in the left lane when a deer jumped onto the highway and in front of the van near the 15th Street exit, in the South Whitehall Township portion of the highway. The deer ended up crashing through the windshield and landed in the van.

Ecologist: Brace for return of deer ticks, Daily Star, April 18, 2019“Climate change is one of the factors that causes Lyme disease to expand in its range,” Ostfeld said. “It’s inducing the ticks and the pathogens to move further to the north, into more inhospitable and harsher climates, into upper elevations, into the mountains in the East, up into Canada, into Pennsylvania, where the climate is a little harsher than it is on the coast. Some of the communities out in western New York are seeing Lyme now where they didn’t see any before, and that could become worse.”

The Lyme threat, and how islands are responding, IslandInstitute, April 18, 2019Many of the challenges mainland communities face are exacerbated when faced by an island. After several efforts to eliminate Lyme disease from Monhegan failed, a last-resort plan was put into action: every single deer on the island was dispatched by a sharp shooter. Within a few years, the cases of Lyme disease on the island dropped to almost zero. This method is still the only means of eradicating Lyme disease that has proven effective, and no community has done it since.

Ability of Two Commercially Available Host-Targeted Technologies to Reduce Abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a Residential Landscape, J Med Entomology, April 15, 2019Deployment of Damminix resulted in 27.6 and 20.3% control of questing nymphs in treated areas at 1 yr and 2 yr postintervention, while Select TCS bait boxes provided 84.0 and 79.1% control, respectively. The economics of residential tick control using these products in wooded residential landscapes is discussed.

>The Lyme threat, and how islands are responding, Island Institute, April 18, 2019After several efforts to eliminate Lyme disease from Monhegan failed, a last-resort plan was put into action: every single deer on the island was dispatched by a sharp shooter. Within a few years, the cases of Lyme disease on the island dropped to almost zero. This method is still the only means of eradicating Lyme disease that has proven effective, and no community has done it since.

Crow Wing Co. deer farm closed, deer euthanized after positive CWD test, MPR News, April 18, 2019All the deer on a Crow Wing County farm where chronic wasting disease was confirmed more than two years ago have been euthanized, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced this week. Early this year, a wild doe found about a half-mile from the Merrifield farm tested positive for CWD, increasing concern that the fatal brain disease had spread.

Quincy man swerves to miss deer, hits tree, WTVB, April 17, 2019Troopers say he swerved to avoid hitting a deer, went off the road and struck a tree.

Deer don’t get Lyme, MVTimes, April 16, 2019“Most ticks acquire the pathogen as larvae and transmit it to new hosts as nymphs,” the paper states. “Adult [Ixodes] scapularis, however, depend mostly on deer to mate and for females to obtain a final blood meal.

YEAR THREE SUMMARY REPORT 2018-19 Deer Research Program, White Buffalo to Ann Arbor, Michigan, 20 March 2019Ann Arbor is a most challenging situation for deer managers; nearly built out and covered by single family homes surrounded by wooded corridors. It is excellent deer habitat with no hunting and no non-human predators. The directives set by the City included improving forest health/regeneration in natural areas, reduction in deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs), achieving 75% satisfaction level of residents, and gathering data to inform future management decisions. The primary objective in 2018/2019 was to assess the complementary effect of lethal management in larger wooded areas proximate to sterilization efforts in dense suburban neighborhoods.
In summary, there are ~21 deer/mile2on average in Wards 1 and 2 (233 deer in ~11.1 mile2), with obvious concentrations in the Skyline School neighborhood (i.e., “NW neighborhood” in Figure 3). The higher density in the SSA also increased the overall deer density. If interference by protesters had been managed effectively,we would likely have met our goal of 150 deer removed using sharpshooting methods. This would have been ~40 fewer deer in Wards 1 and 2 which would have resulted in ~190 deer, or ~17 deer/mile2. There also would be far fewer fawns born that will have to be culled next winter.

Michigan deer baiting ban would be lifted during hunting season under Senate bill, MLive, April 12, 2019An outright ban on deer baiting and feeding in the Lower Peninsula meant to stave off chronic wasting disease could be reversed under legislation considered by a Michigan Senate panel this week. The state’s Natural Resources Commission approved the ban last year as part of a series of changes to deer hunting rules designed to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease, a contagious and fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. It went into effect Jan. 31, 2019.

Co-infections in Persons with Early Lyme Disease, Emerging Infectious Diseases, April 2019In certain regions of New York state, USA, Ixodes scapularis ticks can potentially transmit 4 pathogens in addition to Borrelia burgdorferi: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia miyamotoi, and the deer tick virus subtype of Powassan virus. In a prospective study, we systematically evaluated 52 adult patients with erythema migrans, the most common clinical manifestation of B. burgdorferi infection (Lyme disease), who had not received treatment for Lyme disease. We used serologic testing to evaluate these patients for evidence of co-infection with any of the 4 other tickborne pathogens. Evidence of co-infection was found for B. microti only; 4-6 patients were co-infected with Babesia microti. Nearly 90% of the patients evaluated had no evidence of co-infection. Our finding of B. microti co-infection documents the increasing clinical relevance of this emerging infection.

Recently Added

* Deer disease may some day infect people, expert warns, Great Lakes Echo, April 1, 2019“To date, no evidence indicates that humans are susceptible to chronic wasting disease and there appears to be a good species barrier,” Dunfee said. This means the disease isn’t likely to spread to new species. But the same was said about mad cow disease, Osterholm said. “It’s possible the number of human cases will be substantial, and will not be isolated events,” Osterholm said.
* Deer cull results in large numbers, Montclair Local, March 27, 2019This year’s Essex County deer culling program resulted in high numbers with 99 identified at Hilltop Reservation and 101 at South Mountain Reservation. A total of 100 unborn deer were also removed, according to the county’s report. In addition to culling the deer herd, an aggressive replanting program to accelerate the regrowth of the forests is being undertaken in the reservations. Forty-seven enclosures (42 in South Mountain and five in Eagle Rock) have been installed where native vegetation species have been planted so their seeds can be reintroduced into the area. Eight-foot high fences have been installed and are designed to prevent deer from foraging on the planted areas.

* Climate change effects on deer and moose in the midwest, J Wildlife Management, March 2019Climate change is an increasing concern for wildlife managers across the United States and Canada. Because climate change may alter populations and harvest dynamics of key species in the region, midwestern states have identified the effects of climate change on ungulates as a priority research area. We conducted a literature review of projected climate change in the Midwest and the potential effects on white‐tailed deer and moose. Warmer temperatures and decreasing snowpack in the region favor survival of white‐tailed deer. In contrast, moose may become physiologically stressed in response to warming, and increasing deer populations spreading disease will exacerbate the problem. Although there is some uncertainty about exactly how the climate will change, and to what degree, robust projections suggest that deer populations will increase in response to climate change and moose populations will decrease. Managers can begin preparing for these changes by proactively creating management plans that take this into account.

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