We are making good progress on testing the heads submitted during the 2015/16 hunting seasons. But we still have about 900 yet to do. To date we have test results from 3921 heads and detected CWD in 74 deer (68 mule deer, 6 white-tailed deer; 53 males, 20 females, 1 of unknown gender). Majority of these cases are mule deer bucks.
The geographic distribution of CWD continues to expand with the disease identified in the 2015/16 sample to date in 5 WMUs where CWD was not previously known to occur. These include WMU 116 in southeast, 158 and 166 in eastcentral, and 500 in northeast Alberta. These cases are on the Milk River, Red Deer River, and North Saskatchewan River, respectively.
However, the most remarkable new case is an outlier in WMU 242 approximately 100 km further west than the closest known case. This was a mule deer buck harvested on the northern edge of the Battle River watershed west of Miquelon Lake and approximately 30 km southeast of Edmonton. Although we know CWD is well-established in the eastern reaches of the Battle River, the case in WMU 242 significantly expands the known distribution of CWD in central Alberta.
The 24-hr freezers are no longer available. However, heads can still be submitted at any Fish and Wildlife office during their office hours. See page 14 of the 2015 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations for office locations and phone numbers. Additional information about preparing and submitting heads can be found at:
The success of the CWD surveillance program relies heavily on participation by hunters, guides, and landowners to ensure a successful harvest that provides heads to be tested. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of one and all.
The total number of CWD cases detected in wild deer in Alberta since September 2005 is 371.