600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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April 09, 1999
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408

Deer disease information available on Internet

OLYMPIA— An information and reporting site for observers to note sightings of blacktail deer suffering from a mysterious hair-loss disease has been added to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Internet webpage.

Establishing the web site, which can be accessed at the Wildlife Research section of the Department's homepage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/, is one of several actions the Department is taking to get more information about the condition.

The web site contains a reporting form for citizens to submit information on affected deer they observe, as well as a fact sheet and photos of deer suffering from the hair-loss syndrome.

In other recent activity, the Department of Fish and Wildlife sent eight affected deer to Washington State University for observation and testing, and has enlisted the aid of the Eyes In the Woods volunteer group to train citizens to compile field reports on diseased deer.

For the past two years, the Department has been working with several university laboratories specializing in wildlife disease to try to determine the cause of the hair loss syndrome, which affects blacktail deer in many parts of western Washington. The hair loss leaves deer vulnerable to weather and exhaustion, and has resulted in some deaths, especially among younger animals.

The hair-loss syndrome first surfaced in the spring of 1997 and now affects deer in many areas of western Washington.

Please see our Wildlife Veterinary Science pages for more information.