USGS: White Nose Syndrome Detected in Alabama #caves #bats

PDF versionPDF version
By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters (tri-colored bat with WNS  Uploaded by Dolovis) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While inspecting caves in Alabama, researchers have positively identified White Nose Syndrome (WNS) in a bat. The USGS published a press release indicating that the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans was detected in a bat in the Corkscrew Cave in Shelby County, Alabama. WNS is particularly lethal, reducing affected populations by up to 90%. WNS is of particular concern to the geoscience community because it can shutter caves from study and exploration, and transport from cave to cave on contaminated boots is a suspected vector. WNS was first detected in New York in 2007, and is now in 31 states and five Canadian provinces. The National Cave and Karst Research Institute has the "Adopt-a-Bat" program which supports their roost to better understand bat behavior, and the National Speleological Society has formed a biological response committee to provide guidance to cavers to reduce their impact on bat populations.