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What We Do/White-nose Syndrome

White-nose Syndrome

WNS Latest

BCI and TNC award $97,000 in WNS Research Grants. Read about it here.

The USFWS has issued a 6 month extension on their decision to list the Northern long-eared bat as endangered. The northern long-eared bat was petitioned for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to losses incurred from White-nose Syndrome. Read the press release here.

The fungus that causes WNS has been detected in central Mississippi, marking the furthest southern detection of this deadly fungus. Read the press release here.

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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 5.7 million bats since it was discovered in a single New York cave in February 2006. Seven bat species in 25 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces have now been documented with WNS. The Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus that is the demonstrated cause of WNS has been confirmed (without the disease, so far) on two other species and in two additional states.

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.

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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International