Symposium: Current research on amphibians and reptiles in the Upper Midwest
10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Tue
Title: The history of snake fungal disease and its implications for snake species in the eastern USA
Abstract: Understanding the origin and virulence characteristics of diseases afflicting wetland species can have important implications for conservation and management. For example, management of exotic pathogens that are introduced into a new area may focus on containment or eradication, whereas management of native pathogens may rely more heavily on environmental manipulation. Here we examine snake fungal disease (SFD), caused by the pathogen Ophidiomyces ophidiicola, as a case study for emerging fungal diseases. We discuss the history of the disease, the origin of the pathogen in the eastern USA, its impacts on snake populations, and management implications.
Bio: Jeffrey Lorch is a microbiologist at the U.S. Geological Survey - National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI. His work focuses on wildlife disease diagnostics and the study of emerging wildlife diseases including white-nose syndrome in bats, snake fungal disease, and other diseases of herpetiles.