With Week 1 of Nerodio 2019 officially in the books, Team Snake packed up all of our things
one last time to head out for Kelly’s Island. For the next week, we would be staying at the island’s elementary school, which functions as a field laboratory and residence during the summer months. Ivana from Team Beardie was able to join us for a few days of Nerodio and experienced both South Bass Island and Kelley’s Island. For being new to snake handling and catching, she jumped right in and got bit with the rest of us! Bryce, also from Team Beardie, joined for a few days on South Bass during Week 1 and was also an all-star in the field… Go read their blog for the full story!
Kelley’s Island is unique in the large numbers of LEWS that call the island home, as well as the high prevalence of Ophidiomyces on the island. Some of our best surveillance sites had been completely destroyed due to the high water levels and rough winter that the island experienced. Even with fewer snakes, we were able to meet our numbers for all four surveillance sites. Kelley’s Island is a favorite among the Nerodio crew and offers a variety of challenges for snake catching… trees, rocky shorelines, docks, fields, cover boards.. a little bit of everything for our sneaky snake friends! In our adventures around the island, we heard countless stories of residents with newly formed snake populations on their properties, indicating the LEWS had found safer habitats for the time being. Good news for the LEWS!
After four days on Kelley’s Island and less than ideal weather conditions, we finally had all of
the data we came to collect and decided to head on home. Back at WEL, we are beginning another round of clinical trials with LEWS for Ophidiomyces. Part of our SFD work in the lab is to discover the best method of treatment for SFD. Stay tuned for an update of our snake room, filled to the brim with the incoming class of LEWS!