Surveillance and monitoring of white-tailed deer for chronic wasting disease in the Northeastern United States

Tyler S. Evans, Krysten L. Schuler, W. David Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects both wild and captive cervid populations. In the past 45 y, CWD has spread from northern Colorado to all bordering states, as well as the midwestern United States (Midwest) and northeastern United States (Northeast), Canada, and South Korea. Because CWD is a relatively new issue for wildlife management agencies in the Northeast, we surveyed a representative (e.g., cervid biologist, wildlife veterinarian) from 14 states to gain a better understanding of state-specific surveillance measures. Between 2002 and 2012, New York (37,093) and Pennsylvania (35,324) tested the greatest number of harvested white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus in the Northeast. Additionally, the 14 states surveyed have tested 121,730 harvested deer, or approximately 15,216/y, since CWD was first detected in 2005. The most common tissues used by agencies in the Northeast for testing were retropharyngeal lymph nodes, which have been determined to be the most reliable in detecting CWD in cervids. Understanding CWD surveillance efforts at a regional scale can help to provide guidance for the development of new surveillance plans or the improvement of existing ones. Furthermore, collaborations among state and regional agencies in the Northeast may attempt to identify deficiencies in surveillance by state or subregion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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