TWS student chapter helps monitor CWD in North Dakota

By Dana Kobilinsky

UND TWS chapter helped hunters deposit deer samples to be tested for chronic wasting disease.
©Matt Reinbold

Students from The Wildlife Society’s University of North Dakota Student Chapter helped hunters deposit deer head samples to be tested for chronic wasting disease in Grand Forks when the state’s deer season opened this month.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department surveys different sites where CWD has not yet been detected on a rotational schedule in addition to areas where CWD has already been detected every fall. Grand Forks was the new site for this rotation.

The department set up collection areas at the Grand Forks Gun Club where hunters dropped off deer heads to be tested for the deadly disease that infects deer, elk (Cervus canadensis) and moose (Alces alces).

The student chapter monitored those sites, making sure the heads were properly deposited.

Hunters will continue to help survey for the disease throughout the hunting season. The samples will be sent first to Bismarck, where four UND students will help remove lymph nodes so they can be tested for the disease. Then, those samples will be sent to a Colorado State University lab for testing.

So far, 17 CWD cases have been confirmed in wild deer in the state. The department hopes these efforts will help monitor the disease and prevent its spread.

Read more in the Grand Forks Herald.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is associate editor at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

Read more of Dana's articles here.

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