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. 4 - November 2017 (pdf) - Find out more about the Integrated Pest Management on Deer Farms Field Day, Hemorrhagic Disease in Florida this year, and check out a new student spotlight.

Integrated Pest Management on Deer Farms: Field Day


UF IFAS and the Cervidae Health Research Initiative are excited to present the Integrated Pest Management on Deer Farms Field Day!

Join UF scientists, veterinarians, and extension specialists for a morning of learning with activities designed to help deer farmers combat the midges that carr deer diseases. This field day will take place on one of the premiere deer farms in Florida, Galaxy Whitetail Solutions.

WHAT: A field day to learn more about deer farm IPM.
WHERE: Galaxy Whitetail Solutions, 12834 Country Road 101, Oxford, FL.
WHEN: January 27, 2018 from 11 AM until 2 PM.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Deer farmers, veterinarians, extension specialists

HOW DO I SIGN UP? RSVP via Eventbrite. Click HERE to sign up. The cost of the class is $10.

Lunch is included!

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.