Elk NetworkMontana Ramps Up CWD Surveillance

General | October 23, 2017

The Rocky Mountain Foundation donated up to $10,000 to assist Montana wildlife officials with its efforts in monitoring Chronic Wasting Disease. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is yet to make it into Montana but the belief is it’s just a matter of time until it does.

“We know the best thing we can do is increase our surveillance efforts and help from our partners is critical. Our best chance of containing the disease once it is detected will be finding it early,” said John Vore, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game management bureau chief.

Surveillance efforts will primarily consist of collecting samples from hunter harvested deer at game check stations and cooperating meat processors and taxidermists.

FWP will focus its surveillance efforts on mule deer, which transmit CWD more effectively than elk, moose, and whitetails. The first priority is symptomatic animals, followed by road-killed animals, whose symptoms may have contributed to their deaths. After that, the recommendation is to test seemingly healthy hunter-harvested adult bucks and does. Among mule deer, bucks are twice as likely as does to test positive for CWD.

(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)