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Media Advisory-Observe Chronic Wasting Disease Testing in Elk at Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: January 16, 2008
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

When: Friday, January 18, 10:00 a.m.

Where: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park

What: Media will have an opportunity to discuss research pertaining to testing live elk for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) with National Park Service staff and possibly view the procedure conducted in the park on elk. This research is the first time free ranging elk will be tested for CWD.

Research is also taking place to study the effectiveness of a new experimental multi-year fertility control agent. Both of these studies are being doneat the park to take advantage of the implementation of the recently announced Rocky Mountain National Park Elk and Vegetation Management Plan.

Over the next several years, in conjunction with the proposed lethal reduction of elk, researchers will conduct studies to evaluate procedures for testing live elk for CWD and the effectiveness of a new experimental multi-year fertility control agent. Currently, there is a live CWD test effective for deer, but CWD diagnosis in live elk has received limited evaluation to date. The disease can only be diagnosed after death in elk.

In the first year, while capturing up to 120 female elk and testing them for CWD, researchers are planning to administer the fertility control agent (GonaCon) to 60 elk. Researchers are already handling the elk for the CWD test and can learn more about this multi-year agent at the same time. 

Who: National Park Service Staff including Wildlife Veterinarian Margaret Wild and Dan Baker with Colorado State UniversityDepartment of Biomedical Sciences.

Please contact Kyle Patterson, Public Information Officer at (970) 586-1363 or e-mail if you plan to attend.

Further information will be provided at the event.

Did You Know?

A photo of arrowheads that archeologists found in the park.

The area now known as Rocky Mountain National Park has been occupied by human beings for 10,000 years. Archeologists have found more than 300 prehistoric sites at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. More...