An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted  — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

You are here

White-Nose Syndrome

Back to top
White nose syndrome - DOI, USGS
Scientific 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)
Photo:
White-nose syndrome, little brown bat with fungus on muzzle - Al Hicks, New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Spotlights

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is providing much needed support in the fight against the bat-killing fungal disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) through an additional $1 million in grants to 39 states and the District of Columbia. WNS has killed millions of North American bats in recent years, decimating many populations and putting several species at additional risk of extinction.
Native To:
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)

Distribution/Maps/Survey Status

Images

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains selected highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. To view all related content for this species, click on "View all resources for species" in the top left of this page.

Council or Task Force

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Federal Government

International Government

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada). Wildlife Management.
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (Canada). Fish and Wildlife.
See also: Common Wildlife Diseases & Parasites for more fact sheets
British Columbia Ministry of Environment (Canada).

State and Local Government

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease that is identified by the telltale white fungus growing on the noses of some infected bats while they hibernate. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking the public to report the sighting of any active or dead bats during winter. Please call 208-454-7638 to report sightings. Idaho Fish and Game would also like to know of any sites that have hibernating bats so biologists can include them in the monitoring effort. Finally, the public is asked to not disturb hibernating bats and to respect cave closures.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an infectious disease responsible for unprecedented levels of mortality among hibernating bats in North America. WNS was first detected in Indiana in January 2011 during routine winter hibernacula surveys conducted by Division of Fish and Wildlife bat biologists. WNS is widely distributed throughout much of the karst region in south-central Indiana and locally established within most of the state's major concentrations of important bat hibernacula.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Academic

Ohio State University. Extension.

Professional

Wildlife Health Australia.
See also: Exotic Fact Sheets for more species
Bat Conservation Trust (United Kingdom).
Bat Conservation International.

Citations