Human Induced Climate Change Experiment

Home | Resources | Archives |Contact Us


Why Are The Bats Dying?

“We have found sick, dying and dead bats in unprecedented numbers in and around caves and mines from New Hampshire to Tennessee. In some hibernacula, 90 to 100 percent of the bats are dying.”

White-Nose Syndrome: A Devastating Disease of North American Bats

Current News

See map at bottom of page

White-nose syndrome spreads in Kentucky (February 6, 2012)
News release (pdf, February 6, 2012)

Bat killing fungus detected at Liberty Park, Summit County, OH (February 1, 2012)
News release (pdf, February 1, 2012)

North American bat death toll exceeds 5.5 million from white-nose syndrome
News release (January 17, 2012)

USGS National Wildlife Health Center releases winter 2011/2012 WNS submission guidelines for researchers (12/05/2011)
Winter 2011/2012 WNS bat submission protocol

Culprit Identified: Fungus Causes Deadly Bat Disease
USGS News Release (October 26, 2011)
USGS Podcast: Culprit Identified: Fungus Causes Deadly Bat Disease
Nature: Experimental infection of bats with Geomyces destructans causes white-nose syndrome

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of new funding for projects related directly to the investigation and management of white-nose syndrome (WNS). This opportunity is open to all State and Federal agency personnel, as well as non-governmental organizations, university, and private researchers.

We anticipate that up to $1 million will be available for high priority research projects through this request for proposal (RFP) process. The announcement will be open for 45 days, with proposals due 4 December 2011.

Please visit www.grants.gov for the official notice, found under opportunity # FWS-R5-ES-12-001

Before submitting a proposal for WNS funds, please carefully review all the information and instructions in this RFP.

2012 Request for Proposals
Current list of FWS funded and other known WNS research projects

Mammoth Cave National Park celebrates International Bat Night on August 27, 2011
News Release (August 18, 2011)

Watch the June 24, 2011 House Natural Resources Committee White-Nose Syndrome Hearing
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Oversight Hearing on “Why We Should Care About Bats: Devastating Impact White-Nose Syndrome is Having on One of Nature’s Best Pest Controllers” (June 2011)
C-Span coverage of White-Nose Syndrome Hearing (June 2011)

Review Finds Endangered Species Protection May Be Warranted for Two Bat Species
News Release (June 28, 2011)
FAQs (pdf, June 28, 2011)
Northern long-eared bat photos on Flickr
90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Eastern Small-Footed Bat and Northern-Long Eared Bat as Threatened or Endangered (pdf, June 28, 2011)

Wyoming Game and Fish Department releases WNS strategic plan
Wyoming WNS Strategic Plan (pdf, 9.49MB, June 6, 2011)
Wyoming Game and Fish WNS Brochure (pdf, June 6, 2011)

Bat Disease, White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Maine
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – News Release (pdf, May 24, 2011)
Flickr set of Maine WNS Survey

Fish and Wildlife Service Unveils National Plan to Combat Deadly White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
News Release (pdf, May 17, 2011)
White-Nose Syndrome National Plan (pdf, May 2011)
WNS National Plan Q&A (pdf, May 2011)

Forest Service Considering Restrictions for Northern Region Caves
News Release (pdf, May 11, 2011)

Archived activities and news

What is white-nose syndrome?

In February 2006 some 40 miles west of Albany, N.Y., a caver photographed hibernating bats with an unusual white substance on their muzzles. He noticed several dead bats. The following winter, bats behaving erratically, bats with white noses, and a few hundred dead bats in several caves came to the attention of New York Department of Environmental Conservation biologists, who documented white-nose syndrome in January 2007. More than a million hibernating bats have died since. Biologists with state and federal agencies and organizations across the country are still trying to find the answer to this deadly mystery.

We have found sick, dying and dead bats in unprecedented numbers in and around caves and mines from New Hampshire to Tennessee. In some hibernacula, 90 to 100 percent of the bats are dying.

While they are in the hibernacula, affected bats often have white fungus on their muzzles and other parts of their bodies. They may have low body fat. These bats often move to cold parts of the hibernacula, fly during the day and during cold winter weather when the insects they feed upon are not available, and exhibit other uncharacteristic behavior.

Despite the continuing search to find the source of this condition by numerous laboratories and state and federal biologists, the cause of the bat deaths remains unknown. A newly discovered cold-loving fungus, Geomyces destructans, invades the skin of bats. Scientists are exploring how the fungus acts and searching for a way to stop it.

Learn more about white-nose syndrome

Map of white-nose syndrome distribution by county/district as of 09/09/11
Map of white-nose syndrome by county/district as of 02/10/2012.
Courtesy of Cal Butchkoski, PA Game Commission.More mapsBat species range and WNS maps
(USGS Fort Collins Science Center)

WNS in Ontario, Canada maps
(Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • RSS Membrane Domain

    • Greenhouse Gas Levels at Highest Point in 800,000 Years
      The Membrane Domain has been conducting research on climate change since 1999. Don’t you hate it when this happens? The ABC, Australia’s public broadcaster, is reporting: The world’s top scientists have given their clearest warning yet of the severe and irreversible impacts of climate change. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC […]
    • Turning Water Into Electricity
      It is possible to turn water into electricity. Solar energy is one of the cleanest and cheapest ways to convert liquid H2O into steam. The energy in steam is 9 times greater than the energy in the same weight of boiling water. The math suggests that each gallon of evaporated water is equal to running […]
    • The Costs of Solar Energy
      A lot of the environmental costs of solar depend on how the panels and batteries are produced, transported and disposed of… and most importantly how the energy is stored. As renewable energy grows, storage will become a greater problem. In general, we would be better off producing energy like the sun (fusion) than trying to […]
  • RSS Global Warming

    • What can the Caernarvon Diversion and Bohemia Spillway teach us about coastal restoration?
      By Theryn Henkel, Ph.D., Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation The Coastal Sustainability Program at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) recently released an article titled “Examination of Deltaic Processes of Mississippi River Outlets–Caernarvon Delta and Bohemia Spillway in Southeastern Louisiana” in the Gulf Coastal Association of Geological Soci […]
    • Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Dec. 23, 2014
      BP Says Deepwater Horizon Spill Civil Penalty Should be Lowered Along with Oil Prices By Angelo Young, International Business Times. Dec. 22, 2014. “British oil giant is asking the federal government to lower its civil penalty, citing the recent steep drop in global oil prices…” (Read more )   […]
    • How Can You Tell When a Politician is Doing it for Money, Or Just for Fun?
      By Jim MarstonSource: flickr/gageskidmore The New York Times recently came out with an article that I could not ignore. It looked at how Attorneys General across the country have been supported by campaign donations from a “secretive energy alliance” that includes some of the nation’s top fossil fuel power companies. Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect […]
  • RSS State Of The Climate

    • November 2014 National Overview
      The average contiguous U.S. temperature during November was 39.3°F, 2.4°F below the 20th century average. This ranked as the 16th coldest November in the 1895-2014 record, and was the coldest November since 2000. The average maximum (daytime) November temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 50.3°F, 2.4°F below the 20th century average and ranked as the 21st […]
    • November 2014 Global Analysis
      The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2014 tied with 2008 as seventh highest in the 135-year period of record, at 0.65°C (1.17°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F). The global land surface temperature was 0.82°C (1.48°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F), the 13th highest for November […]
    • November 2014 Drought
      Please note that the values presented in this report are based on preliminary data. They will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages.
  • RSS Global Climate Change – Vital Signs of the Planet – News RSS Feed

    • Earth from space: 15 amazing things in 15 years
      The view of Earth from orbit is never the same – from minute to minute, day to day, year to year. In December of 1999 NASA launched a satellite that opened up a new era in our ability to see, measure and understand Earth and its changing climate. The satellite called Terra rocketed to space on Dec. 18, 1999. (And while it was designed for a five-year mission […]
  • RSS Natural Hazards

  • Archives

  • Archives