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Thursday, August 9 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Disease 2 Track: Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Affects Abundance and Distribution of Free-Ranging Deer Populations

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AUTHORS: Sonja A. Christensen, David Williams, and William Porter – Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is the most significant source of viral disease-related mortality in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the United States. Michigan has seen an increase in EHD related deer mortality since 2006, and 2012 was the largest outbreak of EHD in Michigan history. This outbreak provided an opportunity to evaluate how this disease impacted deer populations affected by EHD-related mortality at a spatial scale typical of that where disease impacts are high. Our objectives were to 1) test whether we would detect a change in abundance of a deer population attributable to an EHD outbreak in 2012, to 2) quantify the fine-scale spatial extent of EHD impacts associated with riparian habitats and corresponding disease risk for deer populations, and 3) determine if populations increased over time in response to local population impacts from EHD. We estimated the annual population abundance of deer immediately after a recent EHD outbreak. Because proximity to wetlands may impact EHD occurrence, we surveyed deer at varying distances from a riparian corridor (~1km and 5km) to determine spatial variation in population impacts. Further, we assessed differences in deer abundance for sites affected and unaffected by EHD. Abundance estimates in the affected area were significantly lower along transects near the river, reflecting EHD mortality associated with wetlands, and the opposite was true in the unaffected site.

459223 pdf
920AM pdf

Thursday August 9, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am MDT
Assembly Hall C
  Disease 2
  • Slides Available Yes

Attendees (3)