Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is taking an estimated 10 percent of Wyoming’s white-tailed deer every year.

Those figures are from a seven year study to find CWD’s effects on whitetail deer. “Survival rates are affected directly, and indirectly,” said Dave Edmunds, a recent doctoral graduate of the University of Wyoming, who now works as a research scientist at Colorado State University.

Studying an area east of Casper found a variety of other things. Whitetails prefer corridors with irrigated agricultural fields and ample vegetation, with cottonwood, box elder and willow trees.

CWD is caused by an abnormal protein in the family of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. To speak more plain, that includes mad cow disease, and scrapie.

It has not been shown to infect livestock or humans, but health experts recommend we not eat meat from a CWD-positive animal.

The leading cause of mortality was hunter harvest, followed by CWD. Vehicle collisions and predators killed others.

CWD was discovered in Colorado nearly 50 years ago, and spread to more than 20 states.

See more on the extensive findings here.