The Saskatchewan government provides groundbreaking chronic waste disease research with $90,000 in funding

Patrick D Costa

Through this grant, the University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Phil McLoughlin and his team will study the population dynamics of deer in the southeastern part of the caribou range.

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce a $90,000 grant to the University of Saskatchewan for cutting-edge research on the spread of meningeal worm and chronic wasting disease (CWD) among woodland caribou and other boreal species.

Dr. Phil McLoughlin and his team at the University of Saskatchewan will use this grant to investigate the deer population dynamics in the southeast region of the caribou range. The team was able to create a comprehensive transmission model and gain a deeper comprehension of animal movements thanks to this work, which made use of cutting-edge radio collars and trail cameras. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment will gain valuable insights from this study in order to develop management strategies and policies based on science that place a high priority on the preservation of woodland caribou and their habitat.

Environment Minister Dana Skoropad stated, “We know these diseases put the long-term survival of woodland caribou and other boreal species at risk, so we are proud to support Dr. McLoughlin’s innovative research.” This grant demonstrates our government’s dedication to safeguarding Saskatchewan’s unique wildlife and habitat, including the endangered populations of woodland caribou.

According to Dr. McLoughlin, “the goal of our research is to provide practical tools, knowledge, and options” as well as “build the capacity to conserve the Boreal Plains ecosystem while safeguarding the core socio-ecological needs and values of residents.” We are extremely appreciative of the province’s interest in and financial support for this significant study.”

The spread of CWD and meningeal worm into the boreal forest poses a significant threat to the survival of woodland caribou and other cervid species, both of which are endangered species. The northwesterly spread of meningeal worm and the presence of CWD in deer in the SK2 woodland caribou range have made it even more important to learn more about the risks of transmission for caribou and other boreal species.

Dr. McLoughlin’s larger umbrella project involving moose populations and the spread of meningeal worm in Saskatchewan is supported by this grant, which builds on previous Fish and Wildlife Development Fund funding. The Public authority of Saskatchewan is focused on supporting this indispensable examination and perceives the significance of this work to the protection of forest caribou, as well as the food security of Native individuals.

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