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Monday, August 6 • 4:30pm - Friday, August 10 •12:00pm
Poster: Landscape Genetic Analysis of Mule Deer to Guide Management for Chronic Wasting Disease

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AUTHORS: Gael A. Sanchez, Randall W. DeYoung, Damon L. Williford, David G. Hewitt, Timothy E. Fulbright and Humberto Perotto-Baldivideo – Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Louis A. Harveson, Sul Ross State University; Shawn S. Gray, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

ABSTRACT: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was discovered in North American cervids in 1980 and has become a major management concern in the following decades. This disease has spread throughout the country and entered Texas through the Hueco Mountain range in 2012. The disease has reduced survival rates within herds of wild and captive cervids up to 30%, which has influenced the economic and ecological well-being of many areas. Management has focused on containment of CWD as the most viable and economically efficient option. Landscape genetics is an emerging field that could play a large role in understanding the potential spread of diseases. The influence of landscape features on movements and dispersal of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) can inform managers how this disease may spread across the landscape in coming years. Tissue samples have been collected from 2100 deer at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department CWD check stations across the Trans-Pecos and Panhandle regions of Texas to analyze genetic relationships. Results so far show statistically significant but low levels of population structuring, suggesting high dispersal rates. The combination of genetic and landscape data provides a powerful tool in predict the movement of CWD within Texas. Understanding dispersal routes and the possibility of environmental barriers will inform future management decisions throughout the state.

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Monday August 6, 2018 4:30pm - Friday August 10, 2018 12:00pm MDT
Assembly Hall Foyer

Attendees (1)