Possibible Fungus in Bats in Estonia in the 1970s
A January 31, 2008 blog posting on nature.com (http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2008/01/white_nose_syndrome_threatens.html)
is mostly a generic WNS piece with little new information.
However, Dr Matti Masing of Estonia posted the comment below.
It may or may not be relevant to the WNS situation, but it is
included here in case someone wants to check into it further (and
I am Dr Matti Masing from Estonia. In the late 1970s I discovered a
similar disease in bats hibernating in limestone tunnels near Tallinn,
NW Estonia, NE Europe. This observation is published in my book
Lendlased 1984, p 81 (in Estonian). In our case the disease (probable
fungus), which I called „notch disease“, attacked the ears of bats. It
was mostly found in Daubenton's Bats (DB) who spend lot of time in very
humid environment. Much less was it observed in other Myotis species.
It was never found in young bats, but up to 27% of adult Daubenton's
Bats hibernating in some tunnels were affected by the disease. First
the tops of ears became whitish and soft, later the white tissue
disappeared but „eaten“ parts of ears were visible as deep notches,
sometimes half of the ear of even more was missing. I have a photo of
one bat who had deep notches in both ears. Probably this disease did
not kill bats, as there was no population decline. Bats with notched
ears were frequent and they seemed to live long. But this disease
mainly occurred in the tunnels near Tallinn where up to 27% of adult DB
were affected. Only 3.8% were affected in western Estonia and 0.4% in
southeastern Estonia (Masing 1984).
Posted by: Matti Masing | February 1, 2008 03:54 PM
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last updated or verified on February 21, 2008