Fungal Disease May be Death Rattle for Snakes
Emerging infection threatens snakes in North America
Snake Fungal Disease was first identified in the North-eastern United States in 2006. The disease - manifested by skin lesions, usually on the snake's head - is now found throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and effects everything from rattlesnakes to the common garter snake.
A new study by Dr. Jeffrey Lorch, from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, has identified the fungus (Ophidiomyces) that is causing the disease. With this knowledge, researchers can better understand how the deadly disease emerges and then work toward mitigating its impact on snake populations.