Tidewater Trader - page 10

idewater Trader 2018-2019
ssue November 6, 2018 Page 10
Sika Deer
What do they look like?
Sika Deer are a small elk introduced into
Maryland in 1916 by private citizens. They
are 2 ½ feet high at the shoulder, weigh 50–100
pounds and originate from Asia (China, Japan,
Korea, Taiwan). The sika deer coat is dark brown
to black. Some have faint white parallel spots on
their back. They also have a white rump. Males are
larger than females and have antlers. Males also
have a dark shaggy mane running down their
Where are they found?
Sika deer inhabit marshes, swamps, and associated woodlands and agri-
cultural fields in Dorchester county. They also inhabit Assateague Island in
Worcester county. Recently, they have expanded their range into some marsh
areas of western Somerset and Wicomico counties.
What do they eat?
Sika deer feed primarily at dusk through dawn on marsh vegetation, grasses
and agricultural crops such as corn and soybeans.
What other kind of deer live in Maryland?
The white-tailed deer is the only native deer in Maryland and is widespread.
I didn’t know that!
Sika deer usually only have one calf whereas white-tailed deer commonly
have two fawns. Sika deer males (stags) are very territorial and keep harems
of females (cows) during the breeding season or rut.
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the antlerless harvest decreased
less than one percent.
Chronic Wasting Disease
The Department of Natural Re-
sources sampled 749 deer for
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
during the 2017-2018 deer season
in Garrett, Allegany and Wash-
ington counties and CWDwas de-
tected in ten deer. All of the infect-
ed deer were harvested within the
current Chronic Wasting Disease
Management Area (CWDMA).
Five of the infected deer came
from Harvest Management Unit
(HMU) 233, while one came from
HMU 231 and four came from
HMU 250. A total of 27 deer with
chronic wasting disease have now
been detected in Maryland (from
Allegany and Washington coun-
ties). The first positive was a year-
ling buck taken by a hunter in No-
vember 2010 in Green Ridge State
Forest, near an area where chronic
wasting disease is present in West
Virginia. To date, the department
has tested over 9,600 Maryland
deer for the disease.
Chronic wasting disease is a dis-
ease of the brain and nervous sys-
tem that causes death in cervids.
Chronic wasting disease is classi-
fied as a transmissible spongiform
encephalopathy (TSE) and attacks
the brain of cervids, producing
small lesions that eventually re-
sult in death. Chronic wasting dis-
ease, historically, was a disease of
the west, but since 2001 it has been
detected in numerous states east
of the Mississippi River, including
the Mid-Atlantic states of Mary-
land, New York, Ohio, Pennsylva-
nia, Virginia and West Virginia.
Currently, there are over 20 states
and two Canadian provinces in
North America that have docu-
mented chronic wasting disease
in their deer, elk or moose popu-
lations (free-ranging, captive, or
both). The disease has also been
detected in Finland (free rang-
ing moose), Norway (free ranging
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