Tick Populations Affected by Wildlife Loss and Climate Change
Both large wildfire loss and climatic changes can independently influence the prevalence and distribution of zoonotic diseases, which normally exist in animals but can infect humans, such as Lyme disease.
While Lyme disease, carried by blacklegged or deer ticks, may be prevalent in the U.S., other countries face a variety of tick-borne illnesses. A new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that the abundance of ticks that carry certain fevers is likely to rise in the future mainly due to a combination of wildlife loss and climate change.
The researchers found growing evidence that wildlife loss often has stronger community-level effects in low-productivity areas. They hypothesized that these disturbances would have interactive effects on disease risk.