What is it?
White Nose Syndrome is an invasive fungal disease from Europe (Pseudogymnoascus destructans). It favors cold, humid environments, making it prevalent in caves and mines (US Department of Interior, n.d).
What are the Symptoms?
White “fuzz” around the nose and mouth of bats but can also be present on wings and ears (US Department of Interior, n.d) (Bat Conservation International, 2018)
Abnormal flight behavior during hibernation months either flying outside during the winter or during daylight hours (Bat Conservation International, 2018)
What are the Impacts?
Bats infected with the fungus will wake up during hibernation, burning fat stores up to twice as fast, and will starve to death (US Department of Interior, n.d)
Earlier impacts include dehydration and acidification (US Department of Interior, n.d)
Bats provide ecosystem services such as pest management and seed dispersal which are put at risk as 90% of infected bats die (Boyles et al, 2011) & (White Nose Syndrome Response Team, n.d)
What are the pathways? (Bat Conservation International, 2018)
Physical contact between healthy and infected bats
Physical contact with cave walls or sediments carrying the fungus
Transportation of fungal spores on clothes, shoes or backpacks from people visiting infected areas
How to Prevent Spread? (White Nose Syndrome Response Team, n.d.) (US Department of the Interior: National Park Service, n.d)
When visiting in area with confirmed WNS infection, stay out of restricted areas in caves/mines
After visiting regions with WNS, decontaminate any clothes or equipment that were used in that region by following the National White Nose Syndrome Decontamination Protocol (2016)
How to report this invasive?
Oregon Invasive Species Council Hotline 1-866-468-2337 (1-800-INVADER)
US Geological Survey Invasive Species Program Manager, Earl Campbell: 703-648-5861
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Health Hotline 866-968-2600
Citations & Image link
Boyles et al (2011) Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture. Science, 332 (6025), 41-42.
Bat Conservation International. (2018). White-nose Syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.batcon.org/our-work/regions/contact-bci/usa-canada/white-nose-syndrome
US Geological Survey. (n.d.). White Nose Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.usgs.gov/ecosystems/invasive-species-program/science/white-nose-syndrome?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
US Department of the Interior: National Park Service. (n.d.). What is White Nose Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/articles/what-is-white-nose-syndrome.htm
US Department of the Interior: National Park Service. (n.d.). How to Help Bats Threatened with White Nose Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/articles/how-to-help-bats-threatened-by-white-nose-syndrome.htm
White-Nose Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/
White Nose Syndrome Response Team. (n.d.). National White Nose Syndrome Decontamination Protocol April 2016. Retrieved from https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/resource/national-white-nose-syndrome-decontamination-protocol-april-2016
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