White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is the greatest catastrophe to ever hit US bat populations. This poorly understood malady causes a white fungus to grow on the noses and wings of hibernating bats, ultimately causing their death. The condition was first identified in several caves near Albany, New York in February 2006.
WNS has spread rapidly across the United States and parts of Canada. The disease has now been found in over 20 states and has killed over 7 million bats. In some roosts, 90 to 100 percent of the bats have died from the disease. As WNS spreads to the Midwest, it threatens the federally endangered bats such as the Indiana bat and the gray bat, as well as some of the largest bat populations in the United States.