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1 June 2004 Feasibility of “test-and-cull” for managing chronic wasting disease in urban mule deer
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Abstract

Strategies for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD) in urban mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations are needed in Colorado. We captured, tonsil-biopsied, marked, and tested adult mule deer (n=181) to evaluate the feasibility of conducting an urban “test-and-cull” program in Estes Park, Colorado. During December 2002 and April–May 2003, we successfully tested 51 (57%) of the estimated 89 male and 130 (50%) of the estimated 261 female mule deer wintering in Estes Park for evidence of CWD. Nine (18%) males and 6 (5%) females tested positive for CWD infection via immunohistochemistry. All 15 test-positive deer were removed from the population; we culled 13 of these, and 2 died of other causes before being culled. We completed all sampling and inventory work in 34 field days and culled all test-positive deer in another 7 field days. Personnel time associated with sampling, culling, and inventory averaged 5.2 person-hours/deer. Average drug costs varied by combination (tiletamine–zolazepam–xylazine: $22; thiafentanil–xylazine: $66). Additional fixed costs averaged $215/deer for telemetry devices and $60/deer for vehicle and other testing-related expenses. Based on our initial assessment, sampling ≥50% of the mule deer in Estes Park annually is feasible.

Lisa L. Wolfe, Michael W. Miller, and Elizabeth S. Williams "Feasibility of “test-and-cull” for managing chronic wasting disease in urban mule deer," Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(2), (1 June 2004). https://doi.org/10.2193/0091-7648(2004)32[500:FOTFMC]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2004
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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