The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Climate change increases parasite numbers on moors

The parasitic strongyle worm and a growing tick abundance are becoming worrying problems for grouse interests, according to a national conference held in Harrogate, North Yorkshire on 11 August by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

Despite more than 150 delegates being told that the prospects for the forthcoming red grouse shooting season are the best for more than a decade, some areas are struggling with increasing tick numbers. “In many areas, this is going to be a glorious grouse season, but for other areas range contraction of red grouse caused by a burgeoning number of parasites is becoming a real problem,” said Dr David Baines,
head of the GWCT’s upland research.

Delegates heard how warmer and wetter winters are causing a marked increase in ticks and that techniques such as using sheep as tick mops to reduce the numbers of the parasite are vital.

What is YOUR opinion? How can we control parasite and tick numbers on certain moors?

Join other ST readers in our forums to discuss your views.

Like this article? Mark this page on a social bookmarking website…

What are social bookmarking sites?