FWP Seeking Help With CWD Monitoring

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has not been found in Montana but evidence of the disease has been found within 50 miles of the Montana border.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials are asking hunters, outfitters, landowners, and others to help keep a look out for CWD, a serious wildlife disease.

Hunters in eastern Montana are asked to donate heads from game harvested in portions of FWP Regions 6 and 7 as part of an FWP survey. Hunters can drop off heads at hunter check stations, FWP offices and at participating meat processors within the survey area.

A total of nearly 16,000 wild deer, elk and moose have been tested for CWD in Montana since 1998.   While none have tested positive for the brain disease, it is important to remain vigilant and to detect the disease early should it enter the state. [Read more…]

Wyoming Seeks to Understand Moose Declines

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking moose hunters to provide information on their hunt and have their harvested animal examined to help wildlife managers better understand the decline of moose populations in Wyoming.

Green River wildlife management coordinator Mark Zornes says that many moose populations throughout the world are declining, especially southern populations (including Shiras Moose in Wyoming). To accommodate the observed decline, Zornes says Wyoming has dramatically decreased moose licenses in recent years and more must be done to better understand and potentially affect this decline.

“No single cause has been identified for these worldwide declines,” Zornes said. “Increased parasite loads and disease are associated with slight temperature increases throughout the range of moose from Wyoming to Norway and Sweden.

Several recent moose mortalities in western Wyoming have been linked to the presence of the parasite Elaephora schneideri, commonly called carotid artery worm. Mule deer are the normal host for this parasite and suffer no ill effects. However, the parasite can be fatal to other big game animals, including moose. This parasite restricts blood flow to the brain and extremities, causing ear tip and nose tissues to die, and ultimately can result in the death of the animal. We have also documented cases of keratoconjunctivitis (pink eye) and one case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in moose.”

In an effort to better understand the prevalence and distribution of these diseases and parasites in Wyoming moose, successful hunters are asked to bring their harvested animal to a WGFD Regional Office or field check station for sample testing. Hunters are encouraged to bring the entire head (skull plate can be removed) out of the field with them for sampling at a check station or regional office.

“If you intend to have a trophy moose mounted by a taxidermist, a WGFD employee will pick the head up at the taxidermist after it has been caped,” Zornes said. “Please call the nearest regional office and let the office manager know which taxidermist you are using. We will call the taxidermist and request the head be held until it can be picked up.”

Check stations are run throughout the state on opening days and weekends during many big game seasons. Hunters are required to stop at every check station they encounter and department personnel can collect samples at these locations.

However, if a check station is not encountered, or a field check is not made, hunters are asked to bring their moose head to the most convenient WGFD regional office. Hunters are asked to call first to ensure that someone will be available to take biological samples upon arrival.
(Contact: Lucy Diggins (307-875-3223)

No CWD in Arizona

 

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department reports lab tests found no detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in any of the 2,343 testable samples from hunter-harvested or road-killed deer and elk during Arizona’s 2008-09 hunting season.

 

The department has tested approximately 12,500 deer and elk samples since beginning its surveillance program in 1998. None have tested positive for the disease. Although CWD has not yet been found in Arizona, it is present in three neighboring states: Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

 

Read the full article here.