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White-Nose Syndrome

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)

Native To
Date of U.S. Introduction

First detected in Albany County, New York in 2007, but the earliest evidence of the disease is from February 2006 in Schoharie County, New York (Hoyt et al. 2021)

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)

White nose syndrome - DOI, USGS

White-nose syndrome, little brown bat with fungus on muzzle

Credit

Al Hicks, New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Find more images

Spotlights

  • Bats on the Brink

    • Oct 27, 2022
    • USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

    • USDA Forest Service researchers are monitoring the effects of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease from Eurasia that has decimated cave-hibernating bats across the U.S. since its arrival in 2006. "The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome grows on bats in the wintertime. It causes them to wake up during their hibernation and burn their fat reserves," says Phillip Jordan, wildlife biologist. Jordan is among the experts featured in a new video, Bats on the Brink. Forestry technician Virginia McDaniel created and produced the video.

  • Service Proposes to List the Tricolored Bat as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act: Ongoing spread of white-nose syndrome is primary threat, increasing risk of extinction

    • Sep 13, 2022
    • DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the tricolored bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The species faces extinction due primarily to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting cave-dwelling bats across the continent.

      Bats are essential for healthy ecosystems and contribute at least $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture economy through pest control and pollination. The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before declines become irreversible.
      See also: Related story (Sep 13, 2020) - How the USFWS and its partners are working to keep this little bat from vanishing forever

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reclassifies Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act

    • Nov 29, 2022
    • DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bat, listed as threatened in 2015, now faces extinction due to the rangewide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting hibernating bats across North America. The rule takes effect on January 30, 2023.

  • White-Nose Syndrome Killed Over 90% of Three North American Bat Species

    • Apr 21, 2021
    • DOI. United States Geological Survey.

    • White-nose syndrome has killed over 90% of northern long-eared, little brown and tri-colored bat populations in fewer than 10 years, according to a new study published in Conservation Biology. Researchers also noted declines in Indiana bat and big brown bat populations. The findings, detailed in "The scope and severity of white-nose syndrome on hibernating bats in North America," underscore the devastating impacts of the deadly fungal disease. The research tapped into the most comprehensive data set on North American bat populations to date, which includes data from over 200 locations in 27 states and two Canadian provinces.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Partnership
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
  • The Delaware Bat Program

    • Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.

  • White-nose Syndrome and Minnesota's Bats

    • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

  • White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

    • 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.

  • White-Nose Syndrome in Bats

    • 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.

  • White-Nose Syndrome in Virginia

    • Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

  • Wildlife Diseases - White Nose Syndrome

    • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Wildlife Diseases - White Nose Syndrome

    • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

  • Wildlife Diseases - White-Nose Syndrome (Bats)

    • Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

  • Wildlife Health - White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)

    • Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Academic
Professional
Citations