Elk NetworkElk Tests Positive for Brucellosis in Montana

General | March 24, 2018

Wildlife biologists carrying out brucellosis surveillance from 2018 elk capture operations in the Tendoy Mountains and eastern side of the Madison Valley determined one elk out of the 100 elk sampled tested positive, the first such positive test in the immediate area.

“The discovery of an exposed elk in the Tendoys emphasizes the importance of elk surveillance near the boundary of the DSA,” said Montana State Veterinarian Martin Zaluski, “We appreciated this partnership with FWP which helps us continue to identify livestock potentially at risk.”

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that infects cattle, bison and elk and can result in abortion or the birth of weak calves. The disease is primarily transmitted through contact with infected birth tissues and fluids.

Thirty elk in the Tendoys were outfitted with radio collars to learn more about movement patterns and understand how the disease may spread.

In the south eastern Madison Valley, an area within the DSA, six elk tested positive for exposure out of the 41 sampled there. Forty of the animals were outfitted with collars.

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(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)