White-Nose Syndrome

Science Center Objects

Since the winter of 2006-07, millions of North American bats have died from white-nose syndrome (WNS). As of June 2019, bats with WNS have been confirmed in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces.

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).

CURRENT RESEARCH

National Wildlife Health Center

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center assists State and Federal wildlife agencies nationwide with early detection of Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), and addresses specific research priorities identified by partners in conjunction with the White-Nose Syndrome National Plan.

 

Fort Collins Science Center

Collaboration between USGS disease specialists and bat ecologists is helping bridge gaps in understanding that allow us to rapidly make progress in better addressing this unprecedented disease.

 

Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

From mummified carcasses and skeletons, it is known that Hawaiian hoary bats enter and use caves in Hawai‘i although this is unusual in populations on continental North America. Investigations included the use of acoustic monitoring and visual surveys.

 

Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center

To adequately model Indiana bat populations a panel of species experts and endangered species biologists were gathered to identify key demographic characteristics determining the population dynamics of this species. The development of this model occurred in four steps or stages. 

 

Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

The primary goal of this bat research program is to develop projects that increase our understanding of basic ecology and natural history of western bat species, while simultaneously providing needed data to inform conservation measures and management decisions in the West. 

 

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