CHeRI - Cervidae Health Research Initiative

Introduction to CHeRI

Scientists at the University of Florida Cervidae Health Research Initiative, or CHeRI for short, are working together to tackle problems that affect cervids: members of the deer family like white-tailed deer and elk. This initiative seeks to promote interdisciplinary science, education and outreach that increase the health and production of captive cervids in a sustainable manner and promotes the health of native wildlife and the ecosystems in which they live.

Our stakeholders in the deer farm industry have identified hemorrhagic disease as the primary threat to economic success in Florida. Last year deer farmers lost >$32M due to a high prevalence of EHD. More information on hemorrhagic disease and the viruses that cause this disease in deer can be found on our Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnostics page. While reducing morbidity and mortality of captive deer from HD is our primary goal, we seek to maintain a diverse portfolio of projects to improve the health of cervids in Florida.

New Newsletter!

CHeRI Newsletter Vol. 2 Iss. 3 - August 2017 (pdf) - Find out more about CHeRI's research to find the culprit of EHDV in Florida, our expanded diagnostic testing and new findings, and check out a new student spotlight.

Farmed Deer Working Group

CHeRI is pleased to announce the creation of the Farmed Deer Working Group!

The purpose of this working group is to provide leadership in extension services that CHeRI provides to Florida deer farmers.

Currently our areas of extension expertise are:
1. Clinical diagnostics for clinically ill or dead animals and interpretation of reports for deer farmers.
2. Vaccine efficacy testing of commercially available products.

We would like to expand this expertise to include:
1. Forage and food plot prescriptions that maximize growth and are environmentally friendly.
2. Targeted and correct application of pesticides for vector control. There are no products available for Culicoides. All pesticides are used off-label and often ineffectively.
3. Best management practices for increasing animal health and reducing disease.

We are always eager to hear what deer farmers would like to see in our programming. Contact us with your ideas! Meet our members here!

New Additional Resources

Visit our new Additional Resources section under Publications to find articles relevant to deer and deer farming. Topics include Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Forages, Deer Health, and Legal Aspects of Deer Farming.

1st Annual CHeRI Science Symposium Proceedings

The 1st annual CHeRI Science Symposium was held on March 28, 2017 in Gainesville, FL at the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art Auditorium. Biologists, game managers, deer breeders and extension specialists learned about the state of the science in deer disease and integrated pest management. The complete symposium proceedings can be found here.

New Necropsy Instructional Video

Deer farmers, do you want to necropsy your own deer to send us samples for our free HD diagnostics? Visit the HD Diagnostics tab and check out the new necropsy instructional video, also found below.