On December 16, 2020, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory confirmed that an elk in Grand Teton National Park tested positive for CWD. In response, the National Elk Refuge is increasing surveillance during all field operations to watch for animals displaying symptoms of CWD; euthanizing and testing suspect animals; coordinating public outreach with state, federal, and local partners; and continuing to pursue carcass disposal options with community stakeholder. For more information, please read our response strategy (pdf).

Galloway, N.L., R.J. Monello, D. Brimeyer, E.K. Cole and N.T. Hobbs. 2021.  "Supporting Adaptive Management with Ecological Forecasting: Chronic Wasting Disease in the Jackson Elk Herd".  Ecosphere 12(10). The model provides a framework examining the impacts of CWD on the Jackson elk herd, for monitoring the effects of CWD over time, and adaptively managing for disease effects. Initial forecasts suggest CWD may reach a mean prevalence in the Jackson elk herd of 12%, but uncertainty of this forecast is large, and we cannot rule out a prevalence as high as 20% within 5 years of introduction of the disease.  The model predicts that a CWD prevalence of 7% will cause the Jackson elk herd to decline, but this assumes a complete absence of cow harvest in the population.  Currently there is significant cow elk harvest in the Jackson Elk Herd, and therefore future implications of the recent CWD infection in the Jackson Elk Herd are significant and negative for both future elk population growth rate and hunter opportunity. Click here to read the full article.

Contact Information

Project Leader
National Wildlife Refuge System
Additional Role(s)
General assistance with all refuge programs ,
Regional and national refuge management teams
Refuge Management and Administration,
Wildlife Biology,
Habitat Restoration,
Congressional, Interagency, and Partner Relations,



A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.


Cow elk looking at you
Wildlife conservation is at the heart of what makes the National Elk Refuge unique and unparalleled in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Conservation of native species and their habitats is the core management mission of the Refuge. The Refuge protects critically important habitat for numerous...