Versus Lyme, try foxes?


To the Editor,

The following was sent to Governor Charlie Baker:

I have long thought that the reintroduction of fox (a key predator of the white-footed mouse, the primary reservoir of Lyme disease bacteria) here on Martha’s Vineyard might be beneficial in terms of our high Lyme disease incidence.

Recently, I came across an article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (“Deer, Predators and the Emergence of Lyme Disease”) suggesting such a correlation.

Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in North America, with both its geographic range and annual incidence increasing. Reintroducing a species to a region is not something to be done lightly, I realize, but I thought if you considered this, at least, an avenue worthy of inquiry, it could be more readily brought to the attention of appropriate parties at the Department of Public Health and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for their consideration.

Thomas Sullivan

Vineyard Haven