Agri Kultuur January / January 2018 - Page 36

This recent finding means that the pantropical blue tick is now also comfortable in the Albany Thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape, in the Bushveld of the Northern Cape and isolated patches of fynbos in the Western Cape. “It is possible that the establishment of the Asiatic blue tick in naïve environments will result in higher disease incidence and tick-related deaths,” he says. “Several babesiosis-related deaths have already been recorded among naïve cattle that have not previously been exposed to this tick species.” “Ticks and tick-borne diseases have a significant impact on the health of domestic animals worldwide. It is difficult to estimate, but ticks and tick-borne diseases could cost the industry between US$ 14 and19 billion,” he explains the practical implications of his mapping exercise, and the role it plays in the provision of veterinary services. “If one can map where certain tick species occur, government and farmers are better able to coordinate control strategies.” “The observed range changes may be facilitated by the combined effects of environmental adaptability by the tick and the movement of host animals,” he says. “Ticks that used to be found only in colder regions are now also found in warmer locations, and vice versa.” Secret to success Dr Nyangiwe says that having to study part-time isn’t easy, and comes with a huge responsibility. How does one stay focused? “Self-motivation combined with determination and a well-orientated vision,” he says of the demands that come with having to balance work, family-time and studies. “More than anything else, support is very vital in all aspects.” In this regard he thanked his wife, Khunjulwa, who is also busy with postgraduate studies in social sciences, and his sons, Odwa and Thembelihle, who are studying towards pharmacy degrees at the Nelson Mandela University. Female Bont-legged tick AgriKultuur |AgriCulture 36