As a part of a joint wildlife disease initiative, Michigan State University (MSU) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), are seeking grant proposals for the development of innovative projects for collaborative research, education and outreach projects to address the most important issues around wildlife disease in Michigan, especially chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer.
The agencies are also seeking proposals for research on CWD prion behavior and persistence in the environment; development of new detection and testing methods, such as rapid tests and field and live animal tests; development and delivery of innovative educational materials to inform natural resources managers and citizens about CWD; and multi-institutional collaborations.
The proposals are due by 5 p.m. June 3 and will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee of subject matter experts of MSU faculty, DNR staff, external experts and stakeholder representatives.
Email proposals to Ann Hill at email@example.com.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It causes a degeneration of the brain, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. It is caused by a normal protein, called a prion, that folds incorrectly and can infect other cervids – deer, moose and elk. It can be transmitted directly from one animal to another and indirectly through the environment. Prions are extremely persistent in the environment and can stay infectious for years.
Since May 2015, when the first free-ranging, CWD-positive deer was found in Michigan, the disease has been confirmed in free-ranging deer in the Lower Peninsula from Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ionia, Ingham, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties. Another was found in the Upper Peninsula in Dickinson County in October 2018.
Visit michigan.gov/cwd for more information on CWD in Michigan.