LANSING, Mich. — Wildlife experts will place tracking collars on some whitetail deer in south-central Michigan for a study of chronic wasting disease and other illnesses.

Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are working together on the project.

The study will assess how deer movement and distribution patterns influence the spread of diseases in and around Clinton and Ingham counties.

It’s part of a broader plan to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease, which first was detected in free-ranging Michigan deer in 2015.

The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in death.

It can significantly reduce deer populations in affected areas.

Scientists say understanding deer movement patterns and basic population characteristics is essential for developing control strategies that work.