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We are capturing individual deer, placing GPS collars on them, and collecting disease samples.


Capture Techniques

Live deer are captured with one of the following techniques: 1) net gun capture by helicopter, 2) clover trapping, 3) drop netting, or 4) ground darting, depending on environmental context.

GPS collars

GPS collars are set to collect locations every 30 minutes for > 1 year. Collars will be replaced when appropriate for monitoring across years. 15 to 45 collars are placed per site in a design that measures contact among individuals in a population.

Live Sampling

Metadata collected on each animal includes species (we are studying White Tailed Deer and Mule Deer), sex, age class, etc. For SARS-CoV-2 sampling, we are collecting the following:

  • Nasal and oral swabs tested for viral RNA by PCR

  • Additional nasal swab stored in appropriate media for live virus culture

  • Serum for antibody quantification and serotying

In addition to SARS-CoV-2, our surveillance system is being leveraged by other collaborators to test for additional markers of cervid health status including:

  • CWD, EHD/Bluetongue, Ticks, Tick-borne agents, PFAS, Powassan, Worms, BRSV, BVD, PI3, Deer adenovirus, Gene transcription profiles, Arboviruses, Host genetics

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