Predators Wanted

Study finds diversity cuts Lyme

Researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, after examining nearly 20 years of data collected in Dutchess County, found that there was a higher risk of contracting Lyme in forests with larger numbers of rodents and fewer foxes, possums and raccoons. They also found that tick-borne diseases are closely associated with acorn supply.

The findings, published in the journal Ecology, found that sites with a high diversity of predators had lower infection rates from nymphal ticks, compared to sites dominated by coyotes, which sometimes drive out foxes and bobcats, which feed on rodents.

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