Chronic Wasting Disease Lecture To Be Held At Sheridan College

A disease that can be fatal to deer, elk and moose will be the topic of a public lecture later this month in Sheridan.

Hank Edwards, who is the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Lab Supervisor, will be giving a lecture titled, “Chronic Wasting Disease in Wyoming,” on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Sheridan College, the first lecture in the Fall 2022 Museum of Discovery Science Lecture series.

According to Edwards, Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal nervous system disease of cervids (the deer family) caused by an infectious protein or prion.

Research from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has indicated the disease was first detected in Wyoming in 1985 and has since spread to 34 out of 37 mule deer herd units and 15 of 36 elk herd units in the state.

Not all herds are experiencing high CWD prevalence, but wildlife managers are concerned about how this disease may affect cervid populations in the future.

Edward’s presentation will provide an update on his organization’s knowledge about CWD as a disease, in the state, and in the Sheridan Region.  

Edwards has led the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory (WHL) for over 25 years.

The WHL is responsible for disease surveillance in wildlife, but primarily focuses on brucellosis in elk and bison; CWD in deer, elk, and moose; and respiratory disease in bighorn sheep.

Edwards received a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology in 1991 and a Master’s in Veterinary Science in 1995 from the University of Wyoming.  

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in-person in the Mars Ag Center, room 201 and by Zoom webinar.

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