IDNR Announces Closure of CWD Check Stations for 2020 Firearm Deer Season

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In response to rising positivity rates of COVID-19 and in an effort to help ensure the health and safety of Illinois hunters and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) staff, the IDNR today announced the closure of all Deer Check Stations during the upcoming firearm deer hunting seasons, slated for Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6, 2020. For more information please visit the IDNR website, here.

“Deer hunters, statewide, are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling from adult deer they harvest.”

 

CWD SAMPLING VENDORS: The following locations are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads from October 1, 2020 thru Jan. 17, 2021 [CWD Sampling Vendors]

CWD HEAD DROP-OFF STATIONS: The following sites are serving as self-serve drop-off sites where hunters can fill out a sample submission card and leave adult deer heads [CWD Head Drop-off stations]

 

Here is a complete list of CWD Sampling Locations.

For more information about the Hunt Illinois program, visit the website here.

Test results will be posted by hunter phone number on the IDNR website at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/CWD/Pages/TestResults.aspx

A Genetic Key to CWD Management?

By Jacob E. Wessels, Nelda A. Rivera, Adam Brandt, Yasuko Ishida, Alfred Roca, Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, Jan Novakofski.

“They found that some regions of Illinois had somewhat higher proportions of genetically protected deer. This genetic advantage does not ensure that a deer is entirely resistant to CWD. Still, the two types of protective DNA sequences could elicit a high level of protection, suggesting that specific areas may see a lower prevalence of CWD in the population due to this genetic advantage.”

Differences in genetic vulnerability to CWD have been studied in multiple deer populations, such as the endangered Florida Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) and the threatened Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus). Perrin-Stowe and collaborators (2020) found that “Key deer may be less genetically susceptible to CWD” when compared to Columbian white-tailed deer and other mainland white-tailed deer populations. Photo by Marc Averette. Male deer in the Florida Keys.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – When talking about infectious diseases, are there advantages or disadvantages associated with our genes? And how does this translate to prion diseases? In this article, the authors describe how by examining the Prion protein gen, researchers have been able to identify protective DNA sequences, with potential genetic advantage to CWD in some populations of Illinois white-tailed deer.

Read the whole story at the Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal, here.

Celebrating Our Diversity

By Yi-Ying Tung

“Today is an ordinary day, but it’s filled with heartwarming lessons. Our differences don’t make us feel distant from one another. Instead they help us grow closer together and become stronger every day.”

Lab team members meet online. They include, left to right, top to bottom: Daniel Raudabaugh, Kelsey Martin, Jacob Wessels, Yi-Ying Tung, Evan London, Roshni Mathur, Rachel Lupas, Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, Jake Putty, Hayden Hedman, Shannon Callahan, Kaylie Dyer, Dr. Jan Novakofski, Spencer Stirewalt and Dr. Nelda Rivera. Image courtesy Rachel Lupas

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Undergraduate student and James Scholar, Yi-Ying Tung, shares her experiences as a member of multidisciplinary and multicultural research labs. She works for Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla and Dr. Jan Novakofski at the Novakofski & Mateus Chronic Wasting Disease Collaborative Labs and the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Lab. Yi-Ying is taking part in a project that explores the transmission of chronic wasting disease from mother to offspring white-tailed deer.

Read the whole story at the Illinois New Bureau website, here.

The Damaging Effect of Feeding Wildlife

By Kelsey Martin, Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, Dr. Jan Novakofski and Dr. Nelda A. Rivera

“It may be tempting to feed deer, especially in the winter, when you think it is more difficult for a deer to find food, but a deer’s digestion and metabolism become well adapted to the food naturally available to them. Occasionally feeding deer foods that they are not used to can change their metabolism, making it harder to process their natural food and causing them to burn essential fat faster. It can actually lead to starvation instead of helping.”

A photo of a large pile of corn cobs scattered all over the ground near a woodland. In the background is a dark green pickup truck parked along side a gravel road.
A corn bait pile for attracting deer and wildlife. Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – From infectious diseases transmitted among animals (and that could in some cases affect humans), to changes in natural behavior that may cause fatal accidents;  there are multiple reasons why not to feed wildlife.  If you care for them, you will be interested in reading the article entitled “The Damaging Effect of Feeding Wildlife”. In this article, the authors used deer as an example of the negative effect of the humans that feed them.

Read the whole story at the Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal, here.

Tick surveillance and control lagging in US, study shows.

First-ever survey of tick-management programs shows clear public health gap. Entomological Society of America

“Ticks are responsible for the majority of our vector-borne illnesses in the U.S., and our programming does not adequately meet the need in its current form, for both surveillance and control,” says Emily M. Mader, MPH MPP, lead author on the study and program manager at the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, housed at Cornell University.  American Association for the Advancement of Science – June 17, 2020

While the prevalence of Lyme disease and other illnesses spread by ticks has steadily increased in the United States over the past 20 years, a new study of the state of American tick surveillance and control reveals an inconsistent and often under-supported patchwork of programs across the country. Such programs are critical in managing the public-health threat posed by ticks such as the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), shown here in multiple life stages suspended in a vial.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – A paper titled A Survey of Tick Surveillance and Control Practices in the United States “showed that less than half of public health and vector-control agencies engage in active tick surveillance, and only 12 percent directly conduct or otherwise support tick-control efforts. These and other findings from the survey, conducted by university researchers at the CDC’s five Vector-Borne Disease Regional Centers of Excellence, are published today in the Journal of Medical Entomology

Read the whole story at the Entomology Today website.

Zombie deer in Illinois: Fact vs. Fiction | By Shannon Callahan

“Myths surrounding chronic wasting disease (CWD) abound among wildlife enthusiasts and in misinformed corners of the internet. If you believe the headlines, these so-called “zombie deer” are poised to take over. This article dispels rumors and gives you the need-to-know facts about what CWD is and how you can help manage it.”

Picture by Michael Jeffords

“The most valuable management tool the state has is our
hunters’ collaboration. Hunters contribute to the identification of
infected areas, removal of deer in these areas, and to decreasing the
deer population density on a scale and with a disease-management
focus that is not otherwise possible with large carnivores alone.”

Zombie Deer in Illinois – Shannon Callahan [pdf]

This article originally appeared in the Illinois Audubon Society’s quarterly magazine, available to members through annual membership. See illinoisaudubon.org for more information.

Chronic Wasting Disease Introduction, Management and Adaptable Processes of Dynamic Disease | By Nohra Mateus-Pinilla

“Participation by landowners and hunters in Illinois’ CWD management efforts demonstrates their commitment to protect the health of the deer herd and the public’s natural resource.”

Photo by Michael R. Jeffords

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Illinois sustains a nationally recognized CWD management program based on collaborative efforts between citizens and wildlife professionals. This integrated approach facilitates adaptable processes to control CWD while benefiting the hunting community and citizens of Illinois. The commitment to management and control of CWD should be sustained in order to allow scientific knowledge to advance and continue to develop additional strategies to manage this disease.”

Read the whole story at the Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal, here.

Environmental Almanac: Supplemental feeding of deer a bad idea | By Rob Kanter

“If you struggle with the perception that, as a state, we too seldom get things right in Illinois, let me call your attention to the success we’ve had in managing a life-and-death wildlife issue that’s causing far more trouble in neighboring states, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).”

BILL MARCHEL • SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE

” I’d like to be able to end this column right here, as a feel-good story, but unfortunately, I can’t. That’s because the Illinois Legislature is currently considering a bill (SB2493) that would undermine IDNR’s success managing CWD by creating conditions that would promote the transmission of diseases among wild deer.”

Read the whole story at The News-Gazette, here.

More news about deer feeding (Star Tribune) here.

 

Soil characteristics may be related to chronic wasting disease persistence, study finds.

Relative influence of soil characteristics on the persistent presence of CWD. The relative influence is a scaled value that describes the contribution of each of soil characteristic to the prediction of the persistent presence of CWD based on the number of times a variable is used as a predictor in the model weighted by the improvement in model fit due to inclusion; see methods (Dorak et al. 2017).

 

CHAMPAIGN, IL – In the study, the team looked at the relationship between soil characteristics and presence of deer with the disease in five northern Illinois counties where infected deer are prevalent. They focused on seven physical and chemical properties of soil that could affect the ability for a prion to stick around in the environment.

Read the whole story at the ACES College News here.

Undergrads choose their own adventure in this wildlife research group | By Diana Yates

The CWD research group is directed by Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla and Dr. Jan E. Novakofski. Undergraduate students from left, Yi-Ying Tung, Shannon Callahan, Jake Putty, Kaylie Dyer and Spencer Stirewalt, with IDNR biologist Jared Duquette. Photo courtesy of Jared Duquette.

 

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Don’t be fooled by the name: The wildlife and chronic wasting disease research group has a broader mission than you might think. Yes, the research focuses on white-tailed deer, primarily, and on CWD, a baffliing affliction of deer and elk. But for the dozens of undergraduate students who have joined this collaborative effort over the years, the group also is a portal, of sorts, to wide-ranging adventures in research.

Read the whole story by the University of Illinois News Bureau here.