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White-nose Syndrome has devastated bat populations across the eastern United States during the past five years, causing “the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America,” according to biologists. And this relentless disease keeps spreading into new areas. BCI is working with agencies, organizations and individuals to understand and stop WNS and begin restoring these decimated bat populations.
White-nose Syndrome has killed more than a million bats since it was discovered in a single New York cave in February 2006. Nine bat species in 19 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces have now been documented with either WNS or the fungus, Geomyces destructans, that is the demonstrated cause of this devastating disease.
Named for a cold-loving white fungus typically found on the faces and wings of infected bats, White-nose Syndrome causes bats to awaken more often during hibernation and use up the stored fat reserves that are needed to get them through the winter. Infected bats often emerge too soon from hibernation and are often seen flying around in midwinter. These bats usually freeze or starve to death.
Mortality rates approaching 100 percent are reported at some sites. White-nose Syndrome threatens some of the largest hibernation caves for endangered Indiana myotis, gray myotis, and Virginia big-eared bats. Ultimately, bats across North America are at imminent risk.
Our worst fears confirmed: WNS has killed more than 5.7 million bats! Read the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s press release here. Read Bat Conservation International’s press releasehere.
Tell the White House! Sign this petition; tell the White House we cannot afford to ignore WNS. Read more.
Culprit Identified: Fungus Causes Deadly Bat Disease. Read the news release here.
WNS reaches Maine: Officials confirm the first case of White-nose Syndrome in Maine. Read the press release here.
WNS Hits Kentucky: Officials confirm White-nose Syndrome on a little brown myotis in a cave in western Kentucky. Read the press release here.WNS reaches New Brunswick. New Brunswick Museum Researchers discover bat-killing fungus in New Brunswick. Read the New Brunswick Museum press release here.
WNS reaches Ohio. Wildlife officials have confirmed the first case of White-nose Syndrome in bats hibernating in an abandoned mine on the Wayne National Forest in Lawrence County. Read the press release here. White-nose Syndrome hits North Carolina bats. A Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist says North Carolina now faces “one of the most devastating threats to bat conservation in our time.” Read the NC press release here.
WNS fungus reaches Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced that a bat from Washington County, Indiana has tested positive for the fungus Geomyces destructans and additional bats with signs of WNS were discovered during routine bat counts at other caves. Indiana is now the 15th state to document WNS-associated fungus and represents significant spread by the fungus into the upper Midwest. Read the press release here.
WNS fungus reaches Alabama. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced March 14, 2012 that lab tests confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome, found on bats in the Russell Cave complex in Jackson County. The news dashed the hopes of some wildlife biologists who thought the cold-craving disease would never reach so far south.
WNS fungus reaches Missouri. April, 03 2012 Three bats collected from two public caves in Lincoln County, about an hour north of St. Louis, tested positive for white-nose syndrome at a U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center laboratory in Madison, Wis.
The discovery in Missouri of white-nose syndrome, named for a white fungus that forms on the muzzle and wings of infected bats, doesn’t surprise biologists and only further confirms that the disease is continuing to spread despite the best efforts to contain it, said Jeremy Coleman, national white-nose syndrome coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Hadley, Mass Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/white-nose-fungus-found-in-missouri-bats/article_fe2c1b5a-7d0e-11e1-8be6-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1r0jR2st3
For updates about white nose syndrome please visit http://batcon.org/index.php/what-we-do/white-nose-syndrome.html