MONTESANO – Training sessions will be offered in Olympia and Kelso during the next two weeks for volunteers interested in helping to gather information on black-tailed deer suffering from a reoccurring hair-loss ailment.
The first training session will be held Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Olympia Center, Multi-purpose Room B, 222 Columbia St. N.W., Olympia. The second is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1 at Cowlitz County Fire District #2, 701 Vine St., Kelso. Both sessions will start at 6:30 p.m.
Volunteers will receive a briefing on the disease and on data collection techniques to be used during a survey of black-tailed deer which will be conducted in March and April in areas of Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis and Cowlitz counties.
The effort is being organized by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the volunteer group Eyes In the Woods as a follow-up to a similar survey conducted last year.
The Department is trying to collect as much information as possible on the extent of hair-loss syndrome among black-tailed deer in western Washington. For the past three years, a number of black-tailed deer on the west side of the state have been observed with the condition, which leaves them vulnerable to weather and exhaustion. Fawns and yearlings have been most severely affected and many have died.
Dr. Briggs Hall, WDFW veterinarian, has been studying the condition for the past two years and will discuss his findings with volunteers at the training sessions.