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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P32) Movement Patterns of Escaped Captive Cervids in Ohio

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AUTHORS. Laurie Graber, Ohio Division of Wildlife ABSTRACT. Ohio’s first Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) positive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was shot on a shooting preserve in Holmes County, October 2014.  Since then, 93 escaped cervids have been documented and 85 tested for CWD.  Of the 93 escapes, 45 had official United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ID tags.  Forty seven (47) escaped cervids were traced to an owner with the help of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).  Ohio state law requires any escaped cervid to be reported within 48 hours.  However, not all captive deer are required to be marked and not all deer that escape are reported which makes it difficult to know exactly how many escaped deer are on the landscape. Fallow deer (Dama dama) are a newly emerging threat that have little regulatory oversight in Ohio.  Although fallow deer are not a CWD susceptible species they can carry bTB and can displace native deer.  Furthermore, many cervid farmers that own fallow deer likely own other CWD susceptible species. Given the number of escaped cervids and related disease concerns, we began tracking, monitoring, and recording distances using a variety of means.  We found that the average distance traveled by those escapes for which reliable estimates were available (n=the number that is used to generate the average of 4.8km) was 4.8 kilometers.  This is the distance from the facility where the deer escaped from to where the deer was ultimately collected.  The final disposition of escapes reported to the ODA is not always available.  Some may die of natural causes in the wild while others might get harvested and go unreported.  Working with ODA, the captive cervid industry, and the legislature is needed to ensure Ohio’s wild deer herd remains disease free. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD

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