Drs. McKenzie and Wishart are leading a team that will use genomics and metabolomics to develop tools to test cervids and their environment, identify CWD strains, model risk and predict spread of the disease. The team is working with First Nations, hunters and managers to develop inclusive strategies to rapidly identify disease, allowing early detection and reducing disease spread.
Application of the team’s tools will reduce the level of CWD in wild cervids, the risk to native ecosystems and the potential risk to those who depend on cervids for food and income. It will also help retain the iconic status of cervids in Canada for future generations retain their iconic status in Canada for future generations.
The project’s GE3LS research component will identify management options under various property rights associated with wildlife, and determine the perception of CWD risk held by stakeholder groups and how these translate to preferred management strategies and willingness to participate in ongoing surveillance.