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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Road-killed deer offer biologists a chance to monitor for chronic wasting disease throughout the state without the need to kill deer to obtain samples.

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists are ramping up roadkill surveys for the next month and are asking all Arkansans to report any dead deer they see along roads and highways. Road-killed deer offer biologists a chance to monitor for chronic wasting disease throughout the state without the need to kill deer to obtain samples.

Chris Middaugh, a research biologist for the AGFC's Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division, says roadkill samples enable biologists to detect where CWD may have spread.

"Road-killed deer have shown to have a higher probability of testing positive for CWD than random sampling because deer suffering from the disease may be less wary of danger or slower to react to the car," Middaugh said. "Because of this higher probability, roadkill samples are very valuable in detecting the disease's range."

According to Jenn Ballard, veterinarian for the AGFC, the temperature is one of the main factors that dictate how long a sample from a road-killed deer is still good for testing. During summer, a sample may only be viable for a few hours after death, but during the cooler weather of spring, fall and winter, it may be possible to get a good sample from a deer a day or two after its death.

Middaugh says that, although the AGFC is particularly concerned with the northwest part of the state, where CWD has been found in Arkansas, and the southeast corner of the state where it was recently confirmed, roadkill samples are important throughout Arkansas to monitor any other possible areas that have not yet been identified.

Visit www.arkansascwd.com for more information about the disease. Call the Wildlife Hotline 1-800-440-1477 or the AGFC Northwest Office located at 455 Dam Site Road, Eureka Springs, AR 72631, or call toll free 866-253-2506 to report road-killed deer.

General News on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: AGFC biologists asking motorists to report road-killed deer

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