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

Minnesota Project

Linking human behavior and attitudes to spillover of SCV2 at the cervid-human interface

May 2023 - February 2026


Participating Agencies


Project Purpose – The purpose is to understand how human behaviors, human-white-tailed deer (WTD) interactions, land use, and ecological context contribute to SARS-CoV-2 (SCV2) infection dynamics in WTD populations.

Project Objective – There are 4 objectives: 1) Determine the predictive relationship between (a) human values, attitudes, and beliefs and (b) human behaviors at the human-WTD interface; 2) Identify human behaviors and land-use characteristics that may lead to spillover or spillback of SCV2 from humans to WTD; 3) Determine the likely response of individuals to different management interventions (e.g., provision of information about risk and prevention); and 4) Improve risk assessment and forecasting capabilities of SCV2 hotspots in WTD.