White Nose Syndrome
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 documented in 2006 and then identified in several caves near Albany, New York in 2007.
WNS and its associated fungal pathogen, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, have continued their deadly march across the United States and Canada. As of October 1, 2017, the fungus has been found in 33 of the 50 states, plus five Canadian provinces, and the disease has been positively confirmed in 31 of the 33 affected states, as well as in all five of the affected Canadian provinces, killing 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.
As chair of the of the WNS Stakeholder committee, Bat World Sanctuary continues to be an active partner with Federal, State, and Tribal agencies, research institutions, and other environmental organizations in educating the public and providing information to wildlife rehabilitators who may receive affected bats.