Posts Tagged ‘white-tailed deer’

Monday, June 27, 2022

Recent DEC Hunting and Trapping News

DEC Seeking Reports of Moose Sightings:

DEC asks the public to report moose sightings via an online form as part of ongoing efforts to monitor moose distribution across New York. While the Adirondacks are home to most New York moose, some live in the eastern part of the state along the Vermont and Massachusetts borders. Moose can also occasionally be found in southeastern New York and the Catskills, but these are usually individuals that have dispersed from other areas.

Moose are the largest land mammal in the state. In the summer, when most sightings occur, moose typically spend a lot of time in ponds and wetlands feeding on submerged aquatic plants. During the rest of the year in cooler weather, they browse on leaves, twigs, and buds of trees and shrubs. Favored browse species include willows, birches, maples, balsam fir, viburnums, aspen, and mountain ash. Bulls weigh up to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds and usually give birth to one or two calves in late May or early June.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

New Research Suggests White-Tailed Deer May Be Highly Susceptible to COVID-19 

Two recent studies; one published in December in Nature (www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04353-x) and the other posted to the bioRxiv preprint server earlier this month (www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.04.479189v1), present evidence that white-tailed deer are highly susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, with multiple reports of widespread spillover of the virus from humans to deer in the wild.

The bioRxiv-published report details a study conducted by an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Penn State University (PSU) scientists. The team examined 131 free-ranging white-tailed deer, all living on Staten Island, the most suburban of the 5 New York City boroughs. Nineteen tested positive for COVID antibodies, indicating that the deer had prior exposure to the virus and, according to the researchers, implying that they are vulnerable to repeated re-infections with new variants.

The report has not yet been certified by peer review, but has been published as a pre-print because of the significance of the findings, according to Suresh Kuchipudi, an American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM) board-certified specialist in virology and immunology at the Department of Veterinary and Biological Sciences at PSU. He serves as associate director of PSU’s Animal Diagnostic Laboratory where, as head of microbiology, he oversees the University’s bacteriology, virology, serology, and molecular diagnostic units. Kuchipudi has expressed concern that spillover of omicron from humans to deer could result in new and possibly vaccine-resistant mutations of the virus evolving undetected in non-human hosts and noted that one of the infected deer in the study had antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection; indicating that deer, like humans, can experience breakthrough cases.

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