Comparing Annual Climatic Conditions with Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Outbreaks in Whitetail Deer Across Eastern Kentucky
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a vector borne disease that can affect all cervids, members of the deer family. However, in this study the focus will be on the affects this disease has on the Virginia whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Climatic variables such as annual average precipitation as well as average temperature for thirty two Eastern Kentucky counties were collected for 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Pearson’s correlation coefficients between these climatic variables were calculated against EHD incidence for average winter temperature (January-February), average spring temperature (March-April), average summer temperature (June-July), and average late summer and early autumn temperature (August-October). Also, Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated between EHD incidence and average precipitation for March-October. Generally negative correlations were observed between average precipitation and EHD incidence, as well as between EHD incidence and average temperature. Yet, a slight positive correlation was observed between EHD incidence and average winter temperatures. Overall, the biology and summer emergence of the biting midge (Cullicoides variipennis), that transmits EHD, may be the leading factor determining the severity of annual outbreaks.
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Powell, Lucas G., "Comparing Annual Climatic Conditions with Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Outbreaks in Whitetail Deer Across Eastern Kentucky" (2019). Honors Theses. 680.