Deer deaths in Oregon – 03/15/2004

  • September 30, 2013 at 2:50 am #357

    There’s something seriously wrong with Oregon’s wild deer: they’re
    losing their hair, succumbing to cold weather and dying by the
    hundreds. According to state wildlife biologist, Doug Cottam, the
    death toll is large.

    “For the last two years, we’ve seen about 50 percent of our deer
    affected by it in some areas of Western Oregon. And that’s fifty
    percent of the survivors that had made it that far. It’s a gloomy

    The problem that has Cottam so concerned is called “Deer Hair Loss
    Syndrome.” It’s a mysterious, painful lice infestation that causes
    the deer to rub the hair off of their flanks. This week, wildlife
    managers began capturing the sick deer using baited, mesh-covered
    traps to learn more about the disorder.

    Five traps have been set up throughout western Oregon where the sick
    deer have been seen.

    Last weekend, the first sick blacktail deer was captured and brought
    to the new “Hair Loss” research facility that’s been set up at EE
    Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis.

    The young doe flanks are discolored – her hair turning a mottled
    brown and black unlike the normal gray and black hair of a healthy
    deer. It is the first stage of the “Hair Loss Syndrome.”

    The EE Wilson site will be the base for a two-year study of this
    problem. Soon, biologists will introduce the sick deer to several
    healthy deer that have been captured from other Oregon locations and
    brought to the facility.

    OSU Researcher Jason Robison, says the speed of the lice infestation
    has caught many experts by surprise and so far, there are many more
    questions than answers.

    “This is a real world problem that we’re having with our deer
    population and a lot of biologists are starting to see it in
    different locations. They’re very shocked that something like this
    has been going on and they haven’t heard a whole lot about it.”

    The first answers to this wildlife mystery could be coming in a
    couple of months. In the meantime, the disorder continues to spread
    and Oregon’s deer are at risk.

    Grant McOmie/KATU

    • This topic was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by admin.

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