A Threat to New England Deer & Moose A Disease You Should Know About
As they are throughout their range the white-tailed deer and the moose are familiar and much-valued features of the New England landscape. While the moose struggles to adapt to winter ticks and parasites another threat has emerged to the permanence of both of them in the form of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is one of a unique class of diseases called prion diseases, which affects only the deer family (deer, elk, moose and reindeer). It is a disease that is always fatal and against which there is no vaccination. The incubation period is months to years and currently the only test for the disease is postmortem. No immunity can develop, and all members of the deer family in New England are susceptible.
Once the disease arrives it never leaves, and will predictably spread, affecting increasing numbers of animals and will, over time, reduce populations. It can be transmitted both from animal to animal and through environmental sources. It is not currently known to exist in the New England states so particular attention will be paid to preventive measures and their implementation. We will explore both the unique biological and complex social implications of the disease as a means of informing wildlife management decisions and personal choices especially as they relate to prevention.
This course is directed at all who value the wildlife of the area, but especially hunters, sporting goods dealers, politicians, and wildlife managers.
Walt Cottrell holds degrees in wildlife biology, biological science, and veterinary medicine. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, formerly working in Maryland, Minnesota, and Vermont. He practiced traditional veterinary medicine in the upper valley from 1985-2005 when he became the wildlife veterinarian for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2013 he became the wildlife veterinarian for the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative administered from Tufts University and is an instructor at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources . He lives in Newbury, VT.
Free and open to the public. Pizza and drinks will be served.
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Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.