An always-fatal neurologic disease is contributing to declines in Western deer and elk herds and raising the possibility of local extinctions.

Bryan Richards, chronic wasting disease project leader within the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, has seen clear patterns of increasing spread and prevalence.

“Where it’s established, it’s spreading and growing,” he said. “We have a lot of geographic areas with relatively recent detections, and we really do not have a very effective arsenal of tools with which to manage this disease once it becomes established in a free-ranging herd.”  …Read more from