Elk NetworkRMEF’s $100,000 Commitment Advances CWD Research

News Releases | August 30, 2023

MISSOULA, Mont. — Furthering efforts to promote the scientific understanding and management of chronic wasting disease, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committed $100,000 to two research endeavors.

One study, in conjunction with the University of Tennessee CWD Working Group, aims to develop a CWD test for live animals. The other seeks to measure the CWD prevalence among elk in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

“There are many more questions than answers related to this mysterious and deadly wildlife disease,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This research has great potential to shape how biologists can better manage CWD’s impact on wildlife.”

Development of a live CWD test (University of Tennessee)

  • Research to develop a rapid and sensitive platform for detection of CWD prions in live animal samples. Results could help state wildlife agencies evaluate prevalence and improve management including test-and-cull actions.

CWD prevalence in the Black Hills (South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks)

  • A scientific study assessing the environmental prevalence of CWD among elk in high-use areas in the Black Hills and its possible impact on reproduction, survival and population growth.

RMEF is a founding member and sponsor of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance. Along with other partners, RMEF more recently created the CWD Applied Research Program in 2019, which brings together top CWD researchers and managers to identify the highest priority research that will impact CWD management.

Since 1995, RMEF supplied more than $800,000, including $100,000 in 2022, to state agencies and other partners for CWD surveillance, management, research and outreach.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Founded more than 39 years ago and fueled by hunters, RMEF maintains more than 225,000 members and has conserved more than 8.6 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.