In mid-April, 2010, the Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed Missouri’s first signs of a new disease in bats that scientists have named “White-Nose Syndrome." The name describes a white fungus, Geomyces destructans, typically found on the faces and wings of infected bats.White-Nose Syndrome and Bat Hibernation Areas - April 19, 2010, Bat Conservation International
- MDC monitoring new bat disease in Missouri, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC)
This is the westernmost spread of WNS since it was first discovered in bat winter-hibernation caves - hibernacula - in New York in the Winter of 2006-2007. This reaches far past even the discovery of WNS in Tennessee, within the bounds of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Biologists at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have received confirmation that one Little Brown bat collected from its hibernating refuge in the Park’s White Oak Blowhole cave tested positive for Geomyces destructans [the fungus and the presumptive causative agent of White Nose Syndrome (WNS)]. White Oak Blowhole cave contains the largest known Indiana bat hibernacula in Tennessee. The Indiana bat is a federally listed endangered species which has seen declines in the Northeastern U.S. due to WNS. White Nose Syndrome has killed in excess of 90% of the bats in many of the caves and mines in the Northeast, and is just now showing up in the Southeast.I put up my bat house two years ago in response to learning about WNS. I fear it may never receive any tenants. Without critical scientific breakthroughs on the mortality of this disease, we may see the extinction of several bat species within a decade.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bat Tests Positive for White Nose Syndrome Fungus, Press release, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 2010-04-19
Mortality rates approaching 100 percent are reported at some sites. White-nose Syndrome has now moved into Canada, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland. It threatens some of the largest hibernation caves for endangered Indiana myotis, gray myotis, and Virginia big-eared bats. Ultimately, bats across North America are at imminent risk.[goo.gl]
- White-Nose Syndrome, Bat Conservation International
Related ContentBats, Bat Houses, and White-Nose Syndrome, 2009-03-26
Bat Houses, 2008-04-13
Northeastern Bats in Peril, 2008-03-18
LinksGreat Smoky Mountains National Park Bat Tests Positive for White Nose Syndrome Fungus, Press release, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 2010-04-19
MDC monitoring new bat disease in Missouri, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC)
White-Nose Syndrome, Bat Conservation International