What is eTick?

Believe it or not iNaturalist is not the only citizen science program that encourages people to share photos of wildlife online. eTick is a Canadian citizen science platform for image-based identification and population monitoring. NOTE: eTick’s focus is solely on ticks found in Canada whereas iNat’s focus is any wildlife found anywhere around the world.

The eTick web page states ‘The emergence of Lyme disease and the rapid geographical range expansion of certain tick species in Canada are important issues for public health authorities and the public in general. Following tick populations on such a large territory is also expensive and logistically challenging.’ It is a simple fact that no one research group or government organization can properly monitor the presence of tick species everywhere across our vast country. To properly monitor the distribution of ticks will require collaboration between organizations and participation from locals.

The mobilization of iNatters to help collect observations of ticks while they are out and about exploring and connecting with nature could help fill gaps. Both iNat and eTick require date/time and location of the observation. In order for iNat observations to be ‘useful’ to the eTick research project the iNat observation should include notes about the host type (free environment, on an animal, on a human).

In a future journal post we will provide examples on how iNatters can share their tick photos with eTick. Stand by!

Posted by mkkennedy mkkennedy, January 21, 2021 20:24

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