Wildlife Community Network
White-nose syndrome map March 2009. Hundreds of thousands of hibernating bats have died since New York Department of Environmental Conservation biologists documented white-nose syndrome west of Albany, N.Y., in early 2007. Biologists with state and federal agencies and organizations across the country are trying to find the answer to this deadly mystery. 90-100% bats are dying We have found sick, dying and dead bats in unprecedented numbers in and around caves and mines from Vermont to Virginia. In some hibernaculum, 90 to 100 percent of the bats are dying. While they are in the hibernaculum, 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. Recent identification of a cold-loving fungus could be a step toward an answer.
Credit: courtesy of Cal Butchkoski, Pennsylvania Game Commission