Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Wildlife Project

Title: Application of landscape genetic techniques to investigation of CWD dynamics and transmission in Wisconsin white-tailed deer populations

November 2007 - December 2009


Participating Agencies

  • Associate Director, USGS-BRD

This research will build on previous studies by using genetic techniques to measure connectivity between white-tailed deer populations and thus assess the role of migration in CWD spread, and to evaluate the importance of social relationships in local disease transmission. Specific research objectives include: 1) Determine whether CWD spreads first through family groups when introduced to a new area (i.e. are nearby pairs of infected deer more closely related than random deer pairs), 2) Determine the genetic connectivity of spark deer outside of CWD core areas, and assess likely origin of disease in these spark deer (WDEZ, EDEZ or other).