Student Network for Amphibian Pathogen Surveillance (SNAPS)
The Student Network for Amphibian Pathogen Surveillance (SNAPS) is a network of students, scientists and educators committed to the conservation of amphibians against the threat of emerging pathogens, with an initial focus on Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). This deadly pathogen has yet to be detected in North America but its introduction is likely, making the early detection of Bsal essential for mitigating its negative impact. Unfortunately, early detection is inherently challenging, requiring geographically broad and ongoing surveillance.
SNAPS is a new surveillance program that addresses some of these challenges by combining education and surveillance, allowing students to learn about Bsal through the lens of various academic disciplines and actively contribute by sampling for Bsal among their local amphibians. The dual mission of the network is to facilitate meaningful, experiential learning among students while harnessing their enthusiasm, and geographic breadth to surveil for Bsal across the continent.
In partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and students and faculty from several universities across Canada, the CWHC will be instrumental in bringing SNAPS to Canada by acting as the hub of the network in Canada and coordinating the 2022 pilot project.
For more information about SNAPS visit the SNAPS website:
There is a brief (13 min.) but excellent video introducing SNAPS in the context of the Strategic Plan here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H2qcQXxxAE
There is a video recording of the SNAPS Canadian information meeting held in Spring 2021 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GIfMWNtdLY (run time 1 hour) that introduces the program in more depth. This includes Q and A for issues including eligibility, details about how the program works, and firsthand accounts of the experiences of two educators who have participated in the American pilot project.
Submitted by: Lenny Shirose, CWHC ON/NU