March 3, 2015
MADISON - State wildlife officials sampled more than 5,400 deer for chronic wasting disease statewide in 2014, finding 324 positive detections, primarily within the endemic area in southern Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has monitored trends in chronic wasting disease distribution and prevalence within Wisconsin since its discovery in 2002. In 2014, focus was placed upon deer population segments within locations deemed most likely to harbor the disease.
"Long-term monitoring of disease patterns is crucial in understanding the dynamics of this CWD, and it's also important to make sure we keep the public informed," said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief.
Within the Southwest Wisconsin monitoring area, encompassing Northwestern Dane and Northeastern Iowa counties, prevalence was found to be 25 percent for adult (2.5+ years-old) male white-tailed deer, over 10 percent for adult female deer, roughly 8 percent in yearling males, and nearly 7 percent in yearling females.
According to Ryan, prevalence continues to increase within the department's long-term monitoring area in Southwest Wisconsin, and remains higher in males than females and higher in adults than yearlings.
Monitoring efforts also included ongoing surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the each new positive found in 2012 in Juneau, Adams and Portage counties in central Wisconsin. Four additional positives were found in 2013 in Adams and Portage counties, while two additional positives were discovered in Adams County in 2014.
Surveillance was also conducted surrounding a CWD-positive captive deer farm in Marathon County, with no wild CWD deer detected.
Following the 2012 discovery of a CWD-positive adult doe near Shell Lake, 2014 marked the third year of surveillance efforts in Washburn County in Northwest Wisconsin. Following recommendations from a local community action team, local landowners and hunters helped the department sample more than 1,900 deer in the area over the last three years. No new positives have been detected. Based on three years of sampling, all information has indicated CWD is not widespread in the Washburn area, and occurs at a very low prevalence rate.
"The department is very grateful for the cooperation that hunters and landowners have provided over 13 years of sampling," said Ryan. "They are helping monitor the health of Wisconsin's deer herds and providing information that is of interest to many."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tami Ryan, DNR Wildlife Health section chief, 608-266-3143