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Old 05-03-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Seaford, New York
Posts: 109
Question Passenger Pigeons and ticks?

What does anyone think of the idea that Passenger Pigeons ate all these ticks we are dealing with?

I was watching some show about this guy trying to clone them.

Which brings a range of issues to the table but the tick idea is interesting.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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I don't think pigeons and ticks were connected. I think ticks are a recent development, at least here in the ADKs. I never found one until a few years ago and as a child I went running all thru the woods and never found a tick. I never had a tick in the Catskills until recently, either.

Besides, the pigeons have been gone since at least 1912 or so. If they ate ticks, we would have seen an explosion of them right away, not just in the last 20 years or so.

The rise in tick population has to do with the decrease in the predatosr of mice, chipmunks, deer, etc. We have impacted the population of the wolf, panther, and snake populations. All of these were an indirect factor in controlling ticks.

Yes, it would be nice to Passenger Pigeons again, but they will crap all over some Congressmans BMW, and we can't have that!

The subject of cloning was a good read in Nat. Geo last year or so. In theory, we could bring back many species, but they may not fit into today's world very well.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
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I often wonder if the new turkey population increases or decreases the tick population.
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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Wolves and panthers kept ticks in control? Not to mention that would follow the same logic as your point that passenger pigeons have been gone a long time, so tick explosion would have happened long time ago. Global warming is a factor too. My vet says that tick season has increased by about 4-6 months
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:37 PM   #5
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Location: Seaford, New York
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Dundee brings up a good point that they disappeared along time ago. We just had a cold winter and the experts say it will not help because under the snow the ticks are insulated from the cold.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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Could the coyote be responsible for transporting them northward?
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:32 AM   #7
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I think the loss of predators allows the prey animals to increase in population, hence the increase in tick population. They demonstrated over the last few years that the presence or non-presence of wolves, thereby changing the habits of the prey species, were able to alter the course of rivers.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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I lived and hiked in Mississippi for many years, and also spent time in Arkansas. Ticks are much more abundant down there, almost year round. It makes sense that global climate change is increasing the number of ticks in the Northeast.
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