DoD-PARC SFD Project
Snakes play essential roles both as predators and prey in the ecosystems of DoD lands. Snake fungal disease (SFD), an emergent condition caused by the fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, poses a threat to snake population health and stability. The disease is characterized by skin lesions, physical deformity and frequently, mortality. Though substantial research has recently centered on SFD, much remains to be understood. Disease origins, distribution, prevalence, and species impacted all require examination. This project will close this information gap. To accomplish this we developed outreach materials, sampling protocols, and a training session for military natural resource managers to enable them to sample for SFD on their respective installations. We will also provide supplies needed by natural resource managers to perform the sampling, and we will analyze and report on sampling efforts to the military and scientific community.