A Tiny Insect is Killing Off White-tailed Deer in Hudson Valley
Several people have reported seeing dead deer throughout the Hudson Valley. What is killing them so quickly? The Department of Conservation has the reason why.
If you follow any local wildlife groups on Facebook here in the Hudson Valley then there's a good chance you may have seen people posting about how they are seeing dead deer in the area. It's quite common to see a deer carcass on the side of the road or close to a roadway. Sometimes they travel even after getting struck by a vehicle.
On the threads that I have seen the deceased deer have reportedly been seen near water sources like streams and rivers.
Many are concerned and are wondering what could be causing this.
New York State's Department of Conservation has offered some information regarding the sightings. The DEC has confirmed the spread of something called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. The Department of Conservation claims to have been tracking cases of EHD in several New York counties including Albany, Jefferson, Oneida, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester.
The disease cannot be spread from deer to deer and cannot be contracted by humans. The virus is spread by the bite of either a fly or another insect called a midge.
The DEC also states that deer who are infected with EHD get extremely dehydrated which is why their bodies are often found near water sources. Once a deer is infected with the virus they usually die in under 48 hours.
Thankfully, the cold weather and frost will kill the bugs spreading the virus.