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NSS White-nose Syndrome Policy
B R E A K I N G N E W S
Summer Update 2014
At the Summer 2014 NSS BOG meeting, the Cave Biological Response Committee was established within the Conservation Division of the Administrative Vice President Department. This committee, a permanent one replacing the WNS Liaison, is responsible for coordinating the NSS's response to any/all biological threats to caves and karst, including White Nose Syndrome.
In May, the NSS submitted comments on the Region 8 USFS five-year cave closure, as well as on the Colorado WNS EA. I've been attending monthly teleconferences as part of the USFWS WNS Stakeholder committee. I've responded to questions from several students writing reports on WNS. We've received and granted one Rapid Response Fund grant request. I've been working with the Social Media Committee and even have a new NSS WNS Liaison facebook account.
At Convention we had a WNS agency panel as part of the Conservation talks. We had Jennifer Foote (NSS WNS Liaison), Dennis Krusac (Region 8 USFS), Rick Toomey (NPS), Jim Goodbar (BLM), and Hazel Barton (science expert). It seemed to go well and there were some additional individual conversations after the panel. On Friday we had a NSS WNS Brainstorming session. We wanted to discuss how to improve media representations of cavers and general ways to move the NSS in a positive direction. We discussed some problems people have had with starting agency relationships. There are no easy answers and one solution won't apply to every situation. In addition, at Convention I talked with the Project Underground folks and the Missouri Bat Census about possibilities of increasing NSS WNS education.
General news: As of this writing, WNS has been confirmed in 25 states and five Canadian provinces, with Oklahoma and the Myotis velifer bat changing status to confirmed negative. The retraction of the "OK bat" that was used as an example of human transmission for several years has not led to any known reconsiderations of any cave management policies. The USFS Southern Region (Region 8) published their five year blanket cave closure the first week of June. During the closure, they still hope to work with cavers to assist agencies in monitoring caves and other management needs. The Battle for Bats video is now available in Spanish. The NSS will be submitting comments on the delayed Northern Long Eared bat listing with other NGOs.
The White Nose Syndrome Rapid Response Fund is still an important funding source for researchers as much federal funding is limited to federal or state agencies. So far the NSS has provided over $115,000 of funding for 21 research grants.
WNS RESEARCH CENTER
EDUCATION & OUTREACH
Help us continue to fund priority, time-sensitive research
Grant application guidelines, review & award process
Abstracts (WNS-related) of the 2013 North American Symposium on Bat Research and International Bat Research Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, August 11-15, 2013
Abstracts of the North American Symposium
Special WNS Session at the 2011 NSS Convention, Glenwood Springs, Colorado July 20, 2011, links to complete presentations
Summary of the 2011 WNS Symposium, May 17-19, 2011 By Peter Youngbaer
Abstracts from the Pittsburgh WNS Symposium
Second WNS Science Strategy Conference Proceedings Austin TX, May 27-28, 2009
Albany WNS Science Strategy Conference Proceedings June 2008. Includes the WNS research priorities for 2008-2009 that were developed as a result of this meeting.
Improved Analysis of Long-Term Monitoring Data Demonstrates Marked
Regional Declines of Bat Populations in the Eastern United States
Evaluation of strategies for the decontamination of equipment for Geomyces destructans, the causative agent of WNS, Shelley, at al; Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 75, no. 1.
A world review of fungi, yeasts, and slime molds in caves, Vanderwolf, et al; International Journal of Speleology, January 2013.
Distribution and Persistence of the Causative Agent of White-Nose Syndrome, Geomyces destructans, in Bat Hibernacula of the Eastern United States (Lorch, et al; Applied Environmental Microbiology, 14 December 2012)
Pathology in euthermic bats with white nose syndrome suggests a natural manifestation of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (Metayer, et al; Virulence, Nov. 15, 2012)
WNS Surveillance and Monitoring Report
Bats' Social Behavior Alters WNS Effects
Histopathology Confirms White-Nose Syndrome in Bats in Europe (Pikula, et al; Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Vol. 48, No. 1, Jan. 2012)
Inoculation of bats with European Geomyces destructans supports the novel pathogen hypothesis for the origin of white-nose syndrome (Warnecke, et al; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 9, 2012)
NYDEC Reports Bat Population Rebounds in Original WNS Caves (NYDEC 2012 Winter Bat Survey Reports)
Little Brown Myotis Persist Despite Exposure to WNS
Geographical and Geological Data From Caves and Mines Infected With White-Nose Syndrome (Wns) Before September 2009 in the Eastern United States (Swezey, Garrity; NSS JCKS, Dec. 2011)
Specific Alterations in Complement Protein Activity of Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus) Hibernating in WNS Affected Sites (Moore, et al; PLoS One, Nov 2011)
Geomyces destructans determined to cause WNS; bat to bat transmission proven (Lorch, et al; Nature on line, October 26, 2011)
(D. Lindner, et al, Mycologia 103(2) 2011, pp. 241-246, 10 March 2011)
Clonal Genotype of Geomyces destructans among Bats with White-nose Syndrome, New York, U.S.A. (S.S. Rajkumar, et al, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 17, No. 7, July 2011)
Pan-European Distribution of White-nose Syndrome Fungus Not Associated with Mass Mortality (April 27, 2011; PloS one;
Sebastian Puechemaille et al)
Ecosystem Services Provided by Bats (Annals of the
Wing pathology of WNS in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology (BMC Biology, Nov. 11, 2010)
Tennessee WNS Monitoring Repor (7/19/10)
One Stop Chart of WNS Past and Current Research Projects (Thanks to USFWS)
New Published Research on Geomyces Destructans (posted 6/6/10)
Timing on Demography Little Brown Bats and Implications of WNS on Species Viability British Journal of Animal Ecology, 2009
Scientists' letter of concern to USFWS (11/24/09)
Sterling Rope and Webbing Decon and Stress Results
Special WNS Session at the International Congress of Speleology/NSS Convention
Special Report: WNS Scientific Research Summary and Status
Published Research on WNS-related Fungus
Wing Damage Index for Assessing WNS-Affected Bat
WNS fungus named: Geomyces destructans
WNS webinar from National Institute for
Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
Histopathologic criteria to confirm White-nose Syndrome in bats
Rapid PCR Diagnosis of WNS in Bats (Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation)
NSS WNS Information Brochure - Please print and distribute to youth groups, landowners, show cave owners, cavers and others who should know about WNS. (Updated version as of 9/3/14)
NSS/WNS Table Top Display
The National Speleological Society and White-nose Syndrome - A brief paper describing the NSS, its history and expertise in cave conservation, and its leadership and involvement with WNS.
NSS News Feature Articles:
"White Nose Syndrome: Pathology, Epidemiology, Diagnostics & Management" - 13 Oct 2012
WNS Webinar Presentation by Peter Youngbaer, NSS WNS Liaison - USGS, San Francisco (9/28/2010)
USFWS WNS webinar presentations
A Story Map of WNS - by Bern Szukalski, with assistance from the PGC and BCI (12/12/12)
USFS WNS Brochure now online - designed by our own Cheryl Jones and Mike Dale. Updated July 2013.
USFS Interagency Team Mobilizing to Tackle WNS - Caver contributions acknowledged.
USFWS WNS poster infographic - a coordinated response
WNS Classroom Education Poster (from Virginia)
Abandoned Mines and Bats Video (Produced by Motionarc Studios for Science North, 2012)
The Battle for Bats! - WNS video -- Share it widely!
National Park Service WNS Videos (2/11/13)
NPS WNS Video - Great Smoky Mountains NP
2009 House Congressional Hearing on WNS - Includes links to NSS and all other testimony, video, photos.
2009 Senate Hearing on WNS - Includes photos, testimony, and complete video transcript.
2011 WNS Advocacy in Congress - Details of the 2011 WNS research budget testimony, prepared by a coalition including the NSS, and presented by BCI.
BCI Map of WNS outbreaks and all known hibernacula
Fungal Disease and the Developing Story of WNS
OTHER WNS LINKS
Photo credits: Top photo: Nancy Heaslip, NYDEC; "Species of Concern," NSS Print Salon HM by Jansen Cardy; WNS Occurance Map by Cal Butchkoski.
WNS Liaison Report to the President/BOG
NSS Response to CBD Petitions (2/25/10)
USFWS WNS Web site
Bat Conservation International
Bat Conservation and Management WNS Page
DC Grotto WNS Page
Virginia Cave Board and DCR Karst Office (9/15/09)