MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scientists are searching for sick snakes.
Agency biologists are looking for snakes infected with snake fungal disease, or SFD. The disease has the potential to devastate snake populations because it prevents snakes from effectively feeding and drinking and causes extended basking periods, leaving snakes more vulnerable to predators.
SFD has been confirmed in Buffalo, Crawford, Dane, Grant, La Crosse, Outagamie, Sauk and Trempeleau counties since 2011.
DNR biologists are literally turning over rocks and logs in an effort to find infected snakes and put together a more complete map of confirmed cases.
DNR officials are encouraging anyone who sees a wild snake to send photos to the agency and report any snakes with unusual lumps, lesions or scabs.