Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is the most important tick pest of cattle worldwide, and a major disease vector. R. microplus was not recorded in West Africa until 2007 when it was encountered in Ivory Coast during a local survey of cattle ticks (Madder et al., 2007, 2011) and more recently in Benin (Madder, unpublished results). The route of invasion is not known but is probably related to the importation of cattle, the principal host for this tick species. A useful way to investigate the places where an organism could thrive is to identify its ecological niche. The ecological niche delineates the set of conditions under which species can maintain populations in the long-term (Estrada-Peña et al., 2006; Estrada-Peña, 2008), and hence also successfully invade and establish in new areas. The niche and habitat suitability of ticks are heavily influenced by climatic factors such as temperature and humidity. These climatic factors are efficiently described using a diversity of remotely sensed (RS) variables. Surveillance is a cornerstone of protection of animals against invasive pests and pathogens.TImely transfer of data collected in the field is also key. The use of smart phones and data collector applications will be investigated in the frame of Tickrisk while collecting field data for model calibration. Smart phones allow the easy and efficient collection and transmission of a range of valuable information from the field to the laboratory and the use in models.
Rhipicephalus microplus, remote sensing, niche and habitat suitability, GIS
created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web