Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats

July 20, 2018


Since its discovery in 2007, the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats. Ten of 47 bat species have been affected by WNS across 32 States and 5 Canadian Provinces. The cold-growing fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) that causes WNS infects skin covering the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats. The fungus erodes deep into the vitally important skin of bat wings and fatally disrupts hibernation of bats through physical damage and energy depletion as they try to cope with infection.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science has been critical in identifying the causal fungus, characterizing the effects of WNS, and tracking the fungus as it rapidly spreads through many populations of bats in North America. Early USGS research enhanced our understanding of how WNS affects individual bats and how the fungus persists in the environment. Today, USGS scientists are engaged in a nationwide response to WNS, in close coordination with our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Publication Year 2018
Title U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats
DOI 10.3133/fs20183020
Authors M. Camille Hopkins, Suzanna C. Soileau
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2018-3020
Index ID fs20183020
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Office of the AD Ecosystems