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You are here: Home / Microbes / Species Profiles / White-Nose Syndrome
Species Profiles

White-Nose Syndrome

Little brown bat with fungus on muzzle (White-nose syndrome) -  NY Dept of Envrionmental ConservationScientific name: Fungus, formerly known as Geomyces destructans is now known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd. (Minnis and Lindner 2013)

Common name: White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)

Click image to enlarge


  • The Lethal Fungus Causing White-Nose Syndrome in Bats May Have an Achilles Heel (Jan 2, 2018)
    USDA. FS. Northern Research Station.
    The fungus behind white-nose syndrome, a disease that has devastated bat populations in North America, may have an Achilles' heel: UV light, according to a study conducted by the Forest Service and its partners.

    "White-nose syndrome is the single biggest threat to many North American bat species and one of the most pressing conservation challenges facing America’s wildlife today. Investing in defeating WNS must be a priority, and the results from this study and contributing research give us hope that we can develop the tools to more effectively manage the fungus that causes the disease."

  • SRS (Southern Research Station) Researcher Receives Grant to Study White-Nose Syndrome (Sep 27, 2017)
    USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.
    White-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats over the past decade. WNS is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Studies show that bats eat enough insect pests to save the U.S. corn industry more than $1 billion a year in crop damage and pesticide costs, and more than $3 billion per year to all agricultural production including forests.

    To help fund the research needed to combat this deadly disease, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced $2.5 million in grants for research of high priority questions about WNS that will improve our ability to manage the disease and conserve affected bats.

Selected Resources

Native To: Europe (Leopardi et al. 2015)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First discovered in a cave near Albany, New York in Feb 2006. New York Department of Environmental Conservation biologists documented white-nose syndrome in Jan 2007. (Blehert et al. 2011)

Means of Introduction: Most likely introduced by human activity, possibly by a visitor to a show cave in New York. (Leopardi et al. 2015; Puechmaille et al. 2011)

Impact: Disease of bats causing a population decline of 72 to 88 percent of hibernating species in the northeastern U.S. (Lorch et al. 2012; Puechmaille et al. 2011)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

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Council or Task Force

Stop the Invasion: White-Nose Syndrome (Jul 2017; PDF | 263 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


White-Nose Syndrome.org - A Coordinated Response to the Devastating Bat Disease
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Invasive Species Compendium - White-nose syndrome
CAB International.

Federal Government

Help Us Slow the Spread of White-nose Syndrome (PDF | 856 KB)
USDA. FS. Eastern Region.

White-Nose Syndrome and North Carolina - An Overview (May 2010; PDF | 374 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
See also: Conservation Issues in the Asheville Field Office for more factsheets

Ecosystems - White-Nose Syndrome
DOI. United States Geological Survey.

Disease Information - White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.

International Government

Animal Health and Diseases - White-Nose Syndrome
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

White-Nose Syndrome in Alberta (Jul 2009; PDF | 475 KB)
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (Canada). Fish and Wildlife.
See also: Common Wildlife Diseases & Parasites for more fact sheets

Wildlife Diseases - White-Nose Syndrome
British Columbia Ministry of Environment (Canada).

White Nose Syndrome in Bats
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada). Wildlife Management.

State Government

Delaware's Bat Program
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.

White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Wildlife Diseases - White Nose Syndrome
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Michigan Emerging Disease Issues - White Nose Syndrome
State of Michigan.

White-nose Syndrome and Minnesota's Bats
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Wildlife-Related Diseases - White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)
Pennsylvania Game Commission.

White-Nose Syndrome in Virginia
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Wildlife Health - White Nose Syndrome
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.


White-Nose Syndrome: A Deadly Disease of Bats
Ohio State University. Extension.


White-nose Syndrome: A Deadly Disease
Bat Conservation International.

White Nose Syndrome Page: A Project of the Biological Response Committee
National Speleological Society.

Threats to Bats - White-nose Syndrome
Bat Conservation Trust (United Kingdom).

Exotic - White Nose Syndrome Fact Sheet (Apr 2017; PDF | 592 KB)
Wildlife Health Australia.
See also: Exotic Fact Sheets for more species


Blehert, D.S., J.M. Lorch, A.E. Ballmann, P.M. Cryan, and C.U. Meteyer. 2011. Bat white-nose syndrome in North America. Microbe 6(6):267-273.

Leopardi, S., D. Blake, and S.J. Puechmaille. 2015. White-Nose Syndrome fungus introduced from Europe to North America. Current Biology 25(6):R217-R219.

Lorch, J.M., L.K. Muller, R.E. Russell, M. O'Connor, D.L. Lindner, and D.S. Blehert. 2012. Distribution and environmental persistence of the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, Geomyces destructans, in bat hibernacula of the eastern United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79(4):1293-1301.

Minnis, A.M. and D. L. Lindner. 2013. Phylogenetic evaluation of Geomyces and allies reveals no close relatives of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, comb. nov., in bat hibernacula of eastern North America. Fungal Biology 117(9):638–649.

Puechmaille, S.J., W.F. Frick, T.H. Kunz, P.A. Racey, C.C. Voigt, G. Wibbelt, and E.C. Teeling. 2011. White-nose syndrome: is this emerging disease a threat to European bats? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(11):570-576.

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Last Modified: Jul 20, 2018
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