Posted: Feb 7, 2013 3:20 PM
BOZEMAN - A herd of elk in the Pioneer Mountains in Southwest Montana are brucellosis-free, according to a recent study.
None of the 100 elk sampled were exposed to the disease, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
"This group of elk remains brucellosis-free, and that's a good thing for wildlife and for the livestock industry," FWP Region 3 supervisor Pat Flowers said in the release.
The study area, located in the southern and western Pioneers (Hunting Districts 329, 331 and 332), was selected because it is adjacent to hunting districts where brucellosis has been found in elk.
"First, it shows that the boundaries for the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) are well placed within the region," State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski said. "It is also providing more data about elk movement in the region, which will help us better define livestock populations at risk."
The DSA is the geographical area in southwest Montana where brucellosis-positive elk are known to exist. In this area, co-mingling of elk and livestock - and thus, livestock exposure to brucellosis - is possible.
Flowers said the study will continue next year, with the southern Tobacco Roots as a possible candidate.