(SHERBROOKE) It is possible to follow the evolution of tick populations in Quebec thanks to a new website.
Etick.ca is a bilingual site dedicated to image identification and monitoring of tick populations. It was launched by Jade Savage, a professor of biology at Bishop’s University, and is the first of its kind to target ticks in Quebec.
The Lennoxville Borough institution collaborates with the Public Health Laboratory of Quebec (LSPQ) of the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec and with the Public Health Agency of Canada. The pilot project for 2017 focuses on ticks found on animals in the province of Quebec.
The expansion of the project to other Canadian provinces is scheduled for 2018, a press release said. The website was created in response to rapid changes in the range of tick species and the emergence of Lyme disease in recent years. These are two important issues for public health authorities and for the general population, it should be noted.
“Logically, it’s costly and complex to track tick populations on large territories like Quebec and Canada,” says Savage.
“Etick.ca is a citizen science project that invites the public to participate in monitoring tick populations by submitting tick photos to the website so that a professional can identify them. ”
There are photos of ticks showing the date and the place where it was observed. It is mentioned that they were found in Sherbrooke, Ayer’s Cliff and Kirkland.
This pilot project is very complementary to the current passive tick surveillance program carried out in Quebec since 1990, supports Karine Thivierge parasitologist at the Quebec Public Health Laboratory.
“It will allow outdoor enthusiasts to identify the blacklegged tick, the only one that carries Lyme disease, among the dozen species of ticks present in Quebec and to know the environments to Risk, “she says.
“This project of citizen involvement will certainly enrich our knowledge, in order to better prevent this emerging disease. ”
To encourage citizen engagement and engagement, the public will be able to access all data from eTick.ca submissions, such as when and where they are collected, on interactive maps that are updated on a daily basis.