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White-Nose Syndrome

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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. 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.
  • DOI. United States Geological Survey.
    A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times. "This is a significant step forward in developing control mechanisms to combat the devastating spread of white-nose syndrome in our important bat populations," said USGS Director Jim Reilly. "Being able to deliver an oral vaccine during hibernation could be a game changer in our ability to combat one of the deadliest wildlife diseases in modern times." White-nose syndrome is caused by a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd, and has killed millions of North American bats since 2006. The disease is spreading rapidly and there is no cure.
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

DOI. United States Geological Survey.
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.

International Government

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). 
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada). Wildlife Management.
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (Canada). Fish and Wildlife.
See also: Wildlife Diseases in Alberta 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.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries 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