Government of Saskatchewan Grants $90,000 to Support Ground-Breaking Chronic Wasting Disease Research

Press Release

April 3, 2023

The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to announce a $90,000 grant to support innovative research out of the University of Saskatchewan to study the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and meningeal worm in woodland caribou and other boreal species.

Through this grant, the University of Saskatchewan’s Dr. Phil McLoughlin and his team will study the population dynamics of deer in the southeastern part of the caribou range. This work uses state-of-the-art radio collars and trail cameras, enabling the team to better understand animal movements and develop a comprehensive transmission model. The results of this research will provide the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment with valuable insights to develop science-based policies and management actions that prioritize the conservation of woodland caribou and their habitat.

“We know these diseases put the long-term survival of woodland caribou and other boreal species at risk, which is why we are proud to support Dr. McLoughlin’s innovative research,” Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. “This grant reflects our government’s commitment to protecting Saskatchewan’s unique wildlife and habitat, including our threatened woodland caribou populations.”

“The goal of our research is to provide practical tools, knowledge, and options, and build the capacity to conserve the Boreal Plains ecosystem while safeguarding the core socio-ecological needs and values of residents,” Dr. McLoughlin said. “We are very grateful for the province’s interest and financial support in this important research.”

Woodland caribou are a species at risk, and the spread of CWD and meningeal worm into the boreal forest poses a significant threat to their survival, as well as the survival of other cervid species. The presence of CWD in deer of the SK2 woodland caribou range and the northwesterly spread of meningeal worm has heightened the urgency to further understand transmission risks for caribou and other boreal species.

This grant builds upon previous funding from the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund to a larger umbrella project led by Dr. McLoughlin involving moose populations and the spread of meningeal worm in Saskatchewan. The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to supporting this vital research and recognizes the importance of this work to the conservation of woodland caribou, as well as the food security of Indigenous people.


For more information, contact:

Phone: 1-800-567-4224
Email: [email protected]

Val Nicholson
Prince Albert
Phone: 306-953-2459
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 306-981-5645

Victoria Dinh
USask Media Relations
Phone: 306-966-5487
Email: [email protected]


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