Author Topic: Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in Putnam and Orange County Deer  (Read 85 times)

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Offline Chenango

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Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in Putnam and Orange County Deer
« on: October 05, 2020, 02:12:42 AM »
Well this is a BAD situation for Deer and for us Deer Hunters in New York State per the NYS DEC Newsletter.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in Putnam and Orange County Deer
On September 3, DEC confirmed that several white-tailed deer in the town of Philipstown and villages of Nelsonville and Cold Spring in Putnam County and in the town of Goshen in Orange County died after contracting Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). DEC has since documented additional cases in the areas of western Putnam, eastern Orange, southern Ulster, northeastern Rockland and northwestern Westchester counties. Within those areas, DEC wildlife biologists have received reports of over 450 likely EHD white-tailed deer mortalities from the public. DEC wildlife biologists have collected approximately two dozen deer carcasses from across the affected area and submitted the carcasses and tissue samples to the Wildlife Health Unit for necropsy.

EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that cannot be contracted by humans. EHD virus is carried by biting midges, small bugs often called no-see-ums or 'punkies.' Once infected with EHD, deer usually die within 36 hours. The disease is not spread from deer to deer or from deer to humans.

The EHD virus was first confirmed in New York in 2007 in Albany, Rensselaer, and Niagara counties, and in Rockland County in 2011. EHD outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when midges are abundant. EHD symptoms include fever, hemorrhage in muscle or organs, or swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources, and many succumb near a water source. There is no treatment for nor means to prevent EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals.

EHD outbreaks do not have a significant long-term impact on deer populations. EHD is endemic in the southern states where there are annual outbreaks, so some southern deer have developed immunity. Generally, in the northeast, EHD outbreaks occur sporadically, and deer in New York have no immunity to this virus. Consequently, most EHD-infected deer in New York are expected to die. In the north, the first hard frost kills the midges that transmit the disease, ending the EHD outbreak.

At this time, DEC does not have any plans to reduce harvest in areas impacted by EHD. DEC manages deer population on the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) scale, and the effects of EHD on that level are still uncertain. If, after this season, harvest indices suggest deer populations on the WMU scale are at or below desired levels, DEC may reduce issuing future Deer Management Permits (DMPs) to either stabilize or increase deer populations as necessary.

Hunters should not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts strangely. Report sightings of sick or dying deer to the nearest DEC Regional Office or to an Environmental Conservation Police Officer. For more information on EHD and helpful related links, visit the DEC website.