Cottontail and Bloodsucker

Cottontail and Bloodsucker

The Eastern Cottontail is one the most common rabbit species native to North America. The three major causes of mortality of Cottontails are, predation, research mortality, and Tularemia (rabbit fever) - a serious infectious disease in humans and rabbits, commonly transmitted by ticks. Cottontails are hosts to fleas, ticks (as seen in the photo), lice, and many other parasites and bacteria.

"Tick" is the common name for blood sucking external parasites in the Acarina (mites and ticks) subclass of Arachnids. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme Disease and Tularemia. Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Interestingly, its' cause the remained a mystery until until it was related to a specific bacteria in 1981. Lyme Disease is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. It is generally concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest regions and is mainly carried by Deer Ticks.

Wildlife photographers, hikers, birders and those of us that spend time outdoors in high risk areas should be familiar with the prevention and control of Deer Ticks. If we suspect Lyme Disease or Rabbit Fever, we should immediately say:
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