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White-Nose Syndrome

Since the winter of 2006-07, millions of North American bats have died from white-nose syndrome (WNS). As of September 2015, bats with WNS were confirmed in 26 states and five Canadian provinces.

Examining the wing of a bat
Examining the wing of a bat. Montgomery County, TN. August 2012.

White-nose syndrome gets its name from the white fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which infects the skin on the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats and was discovered by USGS scientists

USGS scientists have developed novel tools and techniques for national WNS detection, surveillance (UV light) and research efforts.  Our scientists are monitoring bat populations (NABat) and hibernating bat behavior in addition to assessing the impact of WNS on bat populations.  USGS is now focusing on disease management strategies to reverse bat declines from WNS (oral vaccine, modification of bat hibernation sites, investigations of the bat skin microbiome).

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Frequently Asked Questions about WNS 

Does White-nose Syndrome pose a risk to human health?

What is White-nose Syndrome?

What should cavers know and do in regard to White-nose Syndrome?

What should I do if I find dead or dying bats, or if I observe bats with signs of White-nose Syndrome?

What species of bats are affected by White-nose Syndrome?

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