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

White-nose Syndrome mostly affects hibernating bats. More than half of the 47 bat species living in the United States and Canada hibernate to survive the winter.

Eleven bat species, including three endangered species and one proposed species, are already affected by White-nose Syndrome or exposed to the causative fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd).

Learn more at the USGS White-Nose Syndrome website.

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Why are bats important?

By eating insects, bats save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control. Some studies have estimated that service to be worth over $3.7 billion per year, and possibly as much as $53 billion. This value does not, however, take into account the volume of insects eaten by bats in forest ecosystems and the degree to which that...

How are bats affected by wind turbines?

Dead bats are found beneath wind turbines all over the world. It’s estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands die at wind turbines each year in North America alone. Unfortunately, it’s not yet clear why this is happening. It’s possible that wind turbines interfere with seasonal migration and mating patterns in some species of bats. More than...

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

If you find a dead or dying bat: Contact your state wildlife agency, file an electronic report in those states that offer this service, e-mail U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in your area, or contact your nearest Fish and Wildlife Service field office to report your potential White-nose Syndrome (WNS) observations. It is important to...

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

In response to White-nose Syndrome (WNS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states request that cavers observe all cave closures and advisories, and avoid caves, mines or passages containing hibernating bats to minimize disturbance to them. The Service asks that cavers and cave visitors stay out of all caves in the affected states...

What is White-nose Syndrome?

White-nose syndrome is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate. Since the winter of 2007-2008, millions of insect-eating bats in at least 29 states and five Canadian provinces have died from this devastating disease. The disease is named for the white fungus,...

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

Thousands of people have visited affected caves and mines since White-nose Syndrome (WNS) was first observed, and there have been no reported human illnesses attributable to WNS. We are still learning about WNS, but we know of no risk to humans from contact with WNS-affected bats. However, we urge taking precautions and not exposing yourself to...
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Date published: January 16, 2018

New Information on Bat Fungus Improves Detection of Deadly Disease

The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease of hibernating bats, spreads rapidly by way of bats, then establishes and persists in soil and on walls of underground hibernation sites, according to a study published today.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 23, 2017

Trick or Treat? The Frightening Threats to Bats

Written by Marisa Lubeck and Ethan Alpern

Date published: August 1, 2017

Deadly Fungus Affecting Hibernating Bats Could Spread During Summer

The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: July 5, 2017

Hot new imagery of wintering bats suggests a group behavior for battling white-nose syndrome

Hot new imagery from temperature-sensing cameras suggests that bats who warm up from hibernation together throughout the winter may be better at surviving white nose syndrome, a disease caused by a cold-loving fungus ravaging insect-eating bat populations in the United States and Canada.

Date published: March 31, 2011

Bats Worth Billions to Agriculture: Pest-control Services at Risk

Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year, and yet insectivorous bats are among the most overlooked economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America, according to an analysis published in this week’s Science magazine Policy Forum. 

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Southeastern Bat with P. destructans Fungus
December 31, 2017

Southeastern Bat with P. destructans Fungus

This southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius) from Alabama shows signs of infection from the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats. The USGS National Wildlife Health Center later confirmed white-nose syndrome in this animal, marking the first time that WNS was found in a southeastern bat. As of June 2017, the species joins eight other

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Bat necropsy at NWHC
April 19, 2016

Bat necropsy at NWHC

Attribution: Wildlife Program
Image: White-Nose Syndrome Lesions Under UV Light
March 15, 2016

White-Nose Syndrome Lesions Under UV Light

Long-wave ultraviolet (UV) and white-light illumination of lesions associated with white-nose syndrome.  Points of orange–yellow fluorescence (arrows) detected on a roosting Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) following surface illumination with a field-portable 9-watt 368-nm fluorescent UV light (photo by Tina Cheng with permission).

Image: UV Light Showing White-Nose Syndrome in Bat's Wing
March 15, 2016

UV Light Showing White-Nose Syndrome in Bat's Wing

Long-wave ultraviolet (UV) and white-light illumination of lesions associated with white-nose syndrome.  Wing from dead Tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) lit from above with hand-held 51 LED 385-nm UV flashlight shows points of orange–yellow fluorescence.  

Image: UV Light Showing White-Nose Syndrome in Bat's Wing
March 15, 2016

UV Light Showing White-Nose Syndrome in Bat's Wing

Long-wave ultraviolet (UV) and white-light illumination of lesions associated with white-nose syndrome.  Wing from dead Tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) lit from above with hand-held 51 LED 385-nm UV flashlight shows points of orange–yellow fluorescence.  

Image: Bat with White-nose Syndrome
March 14, 2016

Bat with White-nose Syndrome

Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle typical of White-nose syndrome.

video thumbnail: Bat White-nose Syndrome: There is a New Fungus Among Us By Dr. David Blehert
March 10, 2012

Bat White-nose Syndrome: There is a New Fungus Among Us By Dr. David Blehert

Since first discovered in 2007 in New York, white-nose syndrome has spread to 16 states, including Virginia and Maryland, and four Canadian provinces. The disease is estimated to have killed over five million hibernating bats. An outbreak of infectious disease among bats on the order of white-nose syndrome is without precedent, and although insect-feeding wild bats may

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USGS
March 30, 2011

Beyond Billions: Threatened Bats are Worth Billions to Agriculture

Insect-eating bats provide pest-control services that save the U.S. agriculture industry over $3 billion per year, according to a study released today in the journal Science. However, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Pretoria in South Africa, University of Tennessee, and Boston University who contributed to the study warn that these valuable

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Image: Hibernating Bats with White-nose Syndrome
March 1, 2008

Hibernating Bats with White-nose Syndrome

Bats showing signs of infections with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome.

Image: Brown Bats with White Nose
January 4, 2008

Brown Bats with White Nose

Little brown bats in NY hibernation cave. Note that most of the bats exhibit fungal growth on their muzzles.

Attribution:
Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle and spots on wings typical of white-nose syndrome. (Photo by Greg Turner, Pennsyl
November 30, 2000

Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle and spots on wings

 Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle and spots on wings typical of white-nose syndrome. (Photo by Greg Turner, Pennsylvania Game Commission)