Snake Fungal Disease


donated by Herpetofauna


Snake Fungal Disease is a horrible disease in snakes caused by a fungus. This fungus was first found in snake populations in the United States. The species affected were mainly garter snakes, rattlesnakes and rat snakes, but the disease is spreading and has now been found outside of the USA.

The fungal infection starts under the head scales and soon spreads across the jawline and eyes. This causes open wounds and crusting, preventing the animal's mouth from closing properly. It also affects the animal’s eyesight, making hunting and eating increasingly difficult. Eventually the fungus infects the organs of the animals. Once the infection has established there is little chance of unassisted recovery. This results in a high death rate of wild animals.

Unfortunately, there is also the suspicion of fungal presence in native species in the Netherlands. The snake fungal disease research is aimed at finding and sampling animals, thereby determining the distribution of this fungus in the Netherlands. This research is an initiative of Ravon and is financially supported by the Herpetofauna Foundation and the European Snake Society.