Here’s the question for week two:
Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.
We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.
If you have a specific question related to CWD, email email@example.com.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an always-fatal neurodegenerative disease of cervids including deer and elk. CWD is a type of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy disease, other TSE diseases include mad cow disease, scrapie, and Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The causative agent of TSE diseases is an abnormally folded protein or prion. As these prions accumulate in the brain, they begin to cause tissue damage, eventually leading to holes in the brain.
CWD can be transmitted directly (through animal-to-animal contact) or indirectly (through a contaminated environment). CWD prions can be shed through bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, and feces. CWD was first detected in 1967 in a captive deer facility in Colorado. Since then, CWD has spread to 25 states and three Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania.
As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Pennsylvania Game Commission for a webinar on Mar 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission Endangered Bird Specialist Patti Barber will be discussing the habits, biology and population of Pennsylvania bald eagles. The session will include a short PowerPoint (15-20 minutes) followed by a short question and answer period (10-15 minutes).
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. View System Requirements
You can help support Pennsylvania wildlife through the purchase of several Pennsylvania Game Commission products.
This year, for the first time, the Game Commission is offering a 2016 calendar featuring the birds of Pennsylvania. This calendar is full of stunning images of native birds. Additionally, the Game Commission still offers the classic wildlife of Pennsylvania calendar. The purchase of a calendar not only makes a great gift, but also supports wildlife conservation in the Commonwealth.
In 1982, the Pennsylvania Game Commission developed the Working Together for Wildlife program to give the public a way to contribute to wildlife; a way for hunters and nonhunters alike to work with the agency to help wildlife. Since its inception, Working Together for Wildlife has generated over $3 million to benefit wildlife.
Each year, the program features either a mammal or a bird art print and patch. These have become collector’s items and the collectors can feel proud of their investment in Pennsylvania’s wildlife. A groundhog was the featured mammal for 2015. The print and patch can be ordered from the Outdoor Shop. All proceeds, support Pennsylvania wildlife.
The Game Commission also offers a voluntary waterfowl management stamp. The sales from the art support wetland habitat acquisitions and management.
–2015 Pennsylvania Big Game Records Book
–Pennsylvania Deer Hunting, Through The Pages of Game News
–Pennsylvania Game Commission, Game Cookbook, Second Edition
–Pennsylvania Wildlife Student Guide
On behalf of the commonwealth’s wildlife, the Game Commission would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all Working Together for Wildlife contributors for their generosity in helping conserve Pennsylvania’s woods and wilds.
Deer rifles have been oiled and put away, the Game Land parking lots are empty and formerly orange-clad hunters are reminiscing about the past season’s successes and woes (with the exception of a few die-hard small game and canine hunters still out there). Does this mean the Game Lands are completely deserted until the spring thaw? Far from it! The dead of winter is a busy time for Game Commission habitat managers. Our foresters are busy marking habitat projects for the future and loggers are busy implementing past plans. “Hold on a minute, did he say foresters and loggers on the state game lands?”
Forest management is habitat management The Game Lands are over 90% forested, so these habitats represent a huge opportunity. In fact, we have 36 staff foresters using creative habitat management on over a million acres. Their main challenge is finding ways to mix forest ages (or successional stages) across the landscape. When you create a good mix of some young forest, some middle-aged forest, and some old forest you can support tremendous wildlife diversity; more so than if a single age class dominates a large area. Timber harvests are the main tool in this endeavor. Each year Game Commission foresters oversee more than 7,000 acres of forest habitat improvements accomplished through timber sales.
This winter aspen cut will be full of young trees and beneficial wildlife plants by this summer. (Photo: Frank Chubon)
‘Tis the season Winter is often the most active season for timber harvesting. I say “often” because we don’t always get cold weather that causes the ground to freeze. Frozen ground means tree harvesting and hauling equipment have little impact on soil and below ground roots. Other benefits of winter harvesting are favorable habitat response (like increased aspen sprouting from winter cuts) and browse availability for deer. Regarding the latter, loggers often observe deer waiting for trees to fall so they can devour previously out of reach buds. So as you’re snug at home watching the playoffs and longing for spring turkey season, think for just a minute about the foresters and loggers who are out there in the cold creating hot spots for next fall’s hunting.
Deer take advantage of tree tops on a game lands forestry project. (Photo: Frank Chubon)
Benjamin C. Jones
Chief, Habitat Planning and Development Division
Pennsylvania Game Commission