Posted: Sep 24, 2013 2:41 PM by MTN News
Updated: Sep 24, 2013 7:01 PM
The number of deer which may have been killed by a disease carried by gnats continues to climb in the Missoula area, with the total doubling in the past few days.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks began receiving calls about large numbers of dead deer west of Missoula earlier this month.
As of late last week, as many as 100 reports had come in.
But now the estimate has climbed to 200 dead deer.
FWP spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser said, reports are also coming in from a wider area, with calls of dead deer east up the Clark Fork Valley and in the Bitterroot.
However, Crowser said, biologists are still waiting for test results to determine if the deer died from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, which is transmitted by a biting midge or gnats.
If the test results are positive in these cases, it will be the first time EHD has shown up west of the Continental Divide in Montana.
Crowser says FWP still wants to hear from anyone who finds dead deer in the area so the agency can get a sampling area as wide as possible.