Lyme Disease: Habitat Fragmentation and the Abundance of White-tailed Deer
Lyme disease is a prevalent vector disease that can be found in much of the United States. The tick that carries it, the blacklegged tick, is found in the Eastern part of the United States. This study will look at six counties within the State of Wisconsin to observe the correlation between white-tailed deer population, Lyme disease, and habitat fragmentation; specifically how cropland cover affects the population of white-tailed deer and the number of Lyme disease cases. These counties were chosen because they had a significant amount of Lyme disease cases in 2013. The results of the linear regressions that were ran did not support the hypothesis that in areas with increased cropland acreage there would be a higher population of white-tailed deer which would result in more reported cases of Lyme disease. The severity of Lyme disease is a cause for concern and why studying how it is spread is important.
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