Landscape Genetics of white-tailed deer in Minnesota
July 2020 - September 2022
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota’s CWD infection appears to be in a relatively early stage of development. This provides hope that an effective control strategy might protect the state’s white-tailed deer resource. This project will leverage existing MNDNR plans and infrastructure to control occurrence and distribution of CWD in Minnesota utilizing targeted removal of deer groups at locations where CWD positive deer have been found. The intent of the proposed work is to use agency culling as a fine-scale management tool to increase the likelihood of removing additional CWD positive animals from the affected landscape, reduce deer density around locations of CWD positive animals, and use genetic information from sampled deer to better understand social network structure of deer most likely exposed to CWD. Understanding familial relationship of culled deer will assist in understanding if related individual deer are being remove at designated removal sites.