White Nose Syndrome Page
A Project of the
Biological Response Committee
National Speleological Society
Spring 2016 Update
We were shocked to hear of the discovery of a WNS infected bat in Washington state on March 31. Though the bat was not found at a cave, it is a sharp reminder on the importance of decontamination. We are expecting updated decontamination protocols in the near future, the latest can be found at the USFWS White-Nose Syndrome webpage.
Observations of suspicious live or dead bats (multiple individuals at a single location) should be reported to local USFWS Field Office or State agency wildlife office. Do not handle bats unless you know what you are doing. The bat submission protocol is available online.
The revised cave advisory was published on March 28, 2016. It no longer recommends blanket closures, but rather concentrates on the following four objectives:
WNS is currently in 28 states and the fungus has been found in four more. The fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) has also been found in Europe and China. Seven North American bat species have been confirmed with WNS, and the fungus has been found on five more. Several species of bat seem resistant to the disease, but some species are seeing mortality of up to 98%.
Due to impacts from this disease, the Northern long-eared bat is now protected as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Under the final rule documented hibernacula for the species are protected year-round, with "incidental take", including unintentional harm or harassment of bats, prohibited within a quarter mile radius of documented hibernacula (sometimes available at the state's Natural Heritage Inventory database.
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 22 research grants. Due to some limits on federal grants, there are still places where our funds can fill in gaps.
Please join our email list where we send out WNS information among cavers, you can sign up at http://lists.caves.org/mailman/listinfo/wns. There is also a Facebook page for NSS WNS Liaison where I am posting news. Please contact me at WNSLiaison@caves.org if you can help me with sending new content and links to the webmasters (no technical skills needed).
| WNS Webinar Presentation by Peter Youngbaer, NSS WNS Liaison - USGS, San Francisco (9/28/2010)
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 5/7/14)
The NSS 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: