Amid the serenity of Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains, a storm is brewing.
But rather than feeding the region’s lakes and rivers, it’s thundering through forests and valleys and entangling the region’s deer population along the way. As a result, many of the region’s deer suffer from chronic wasting disease, an incurable disease that means a death sentence for any animal that contracts it.
Although much is known about the effects of this incurable disease, little is known about how it manifests in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family, as well as the extent to which it has infiltrated the deer and elk populations in the Ozarks—by some estimates, around one-third of the animals are infected. But a new study launching this year by researchers at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources aims to get a better picture of CWD.
Because this is a disease found at varying rates across the country, the study could have a profound effect on deer and elk populations in the Ozarks and elsewhere.