Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area: A Multi-State Issue with Varying Management Paradigms Influencing Management and Possible Eradication of the Disease in Wildlife

Neil Anderson, Jennifer Ramsey, Kevin Hughes


Brucellosis, caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus, is an infectious disease of cattle, bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elephus). The Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) is the last known reservoir of the disease in the lower 48 states. Recent cases of the disease in cattle herds of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have been attributed to exposure from wild elk and have brought increased focus on management and eradication of the disease from wildlife populations. Elk management programs within the three states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming differ in response to the disease. Efforts to manage the disease within the GYA are greatly influence by management actions taken within individual states. The differing management actions and the potential influence on brucellosis management and possible eradication are discussed.

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