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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands

"Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Wildlife Health Center this fall established that the sugary smudges on affected bats are a previously undescribed type of fungus that thrives in the refrigerator-like cold of winter caves. David Blehert, head of microbiology at the Madison, Wis., center, is leading experiments to definitively establish whether the fungus causes white-nose syndrome.

Still, there is enough circumstantial evidence to lead biologists to focus on ways to stop the fungus.

Since the fungus likes it cold and moist, they could try to lower humidity levels in at least some crucial caves, though that could create other problems. Researchers are also looking at the possibility of a fungicide, or even a fungus-killing bacteria that could spread from bat to bat. Ward Stone, New York’s wildlife pathologist, said he has been able to culture a bacteria that lives on big brown bats and kills the white-nose fungus in a lab.

Still, tests need to be performed to see if any of the options are realistic. And as Blehert notes, time is “our biggest enemy.”

Some resolving tryings starts to pop out.

Hopefully, the "thrives in the refrigerator like cold" quality, don't unveil an lab refrigerator history of the fungus

Now, apart wild speculations, disseminating new bacterial agents could atack the fungus, but as all knows, such lab bacteria can than mutate in some new strain on the field, and generate new problems.

Additionaly, if the fungus is an secondary consequence of an ruined immune system (and some sci. texts here published seems to point that it can't infect other organism), it would not work.

Lowering humidity would deminish the fungus proliferation, no matter the source of the illness, so it seems an good option if it is possible to achieve.

Strange that the NY region where it first appeared have not more answers now.

We hope that this story would not finish as the one with the many kinds of life forms on Earth in our time period - exterminated, or near it, at the same time when tons of scientific studies explained it why maybe and where it happens, but with no real "push button" power to change anything about ...
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands

From a blog. Pics and YouTube included in the link.

Hibernating Cave Bats Receive Heaters
I hope you are reading this blog post in a cozy, climate-controlled environment. A few lucky bats in the wild may soon experience similar comfort when their drafty caves are outfitted with heaters.

This is no mere cave home remodeling project, but rather an attempt by scientists to curb the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that's killed at least a half million bats since the deadly illness was first discovered in upstate New York during the winter of 2006.

The mysterious disease causes a white fungus to grow on the faces and wing membranes of hibernating bats. The fungus prevents bats from staying in hibernation mode. If you woke up and found fungus growing on your body, you'd be pretty startled too. The agitated bats, when roused, then expend more energy and may become dehydrated. The depletion of body fat reserves can also cause emaciation, leading to death.

According to researchers, affected bat populations commonly suffer 75 to 100 percent mortality.
“We have no idea why it’s spreading so rapidly,” says Justin Boyles, a graduate student in biology at Indiana State University and co-author of a paper on the disease that's published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment e-View.

Boyles and colleague Craig Willis of the University of Winnipeg suspect that by adding heat sources to caves where bats are known to hibernate, they might help to eliminate bat body energy lost as the flying mammals attempt to keep warm.

On paper, at least, the idea works. The researchers think they have a chance at getting bat mortality closer to 8 percent. And the plan isn't as far fetched as you might think, since bats often fly to the warmest parts of their cave when aroused out of hibernation.

“They already do this in the wild,” Boyles said. “What we’re suggesting is accentuating that behavior.”

Willis added, “By insulating the bat boxes and carefully selecting where we will place them, we think we can solve this issue."

The heaters, consisting of protected coils placed in wooden boxes, won't get rid of white-nose syndrome, but they could buy worried scientists some time to find a cause for the disease, along with prevention and treatment for it, if possible.

“I can’t even guess what the cure or the solution to this is going to be,” says Boyles. “This isn’t a cure. We’re going for a stopgap.”

The salvage of human life ought to be placed above barter and exchange ~ Louis Harris, 1918
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Old March 6th, 2009, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands

Thanks mixin (#34).

The video was interesting.

There were some interesting sentences from this video.

It was observed that there were some aparently "in health" bats (without skin signs of the fungus).

These bats also went out of the caves (actualy out and near the filmed house perimeter) in non-evening/night time, but in the middle of the day, even if the day temperature isn't risen, but it is cold and snow around.

They start searching for food and water, but there is no food in the air, and they try to drink snow.

Apart the syndrome question, it seems very odd that the bats went out of their cave/roof so much earlier, when it is not their normal environmental condition. This was commented as the result of their illness which disoriented them.

Another spec.

What if such behaviour (cited above) and the wrong interpretation of the bats inner biological sensors is a result of wrong and changed mixed inputs which they sensed from an globaly changed (so also localy) warmer cave environment?

As it is now for the plants, the fish, and also for the birds, an more warmer or even only more intermitently changed weather/water/air environment, changed also their behaviour and start new migrations, which are proved by new research, so the same can now aflicted the bat population, and be the primary reason for the insurgence of their immune lowering with an secondary appearance of an fungal illness.

The same caves can now be more subjected to altered air humidity and streams, which can than stimulate the insurgence of fungal particles on those cave surface layers, and on the bats appended on it.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Source: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/localnews/ci_11979770

Bat population shows huge declines
By Devon Lash
Posted: 03/23/2009 08:29:18 PM EDT
Updated: 03/23/2009 08:30:56 PM EDT

STAMFORD -- A mysterious white fungus has decimated the bat population in nine states this winter, causing concern that more insects could spread disease and pesticide use could increase this summer.

Bats are the largest predator of night-flying insects.

In all, 80 percent to 90 percent of the bats in Connecticut's major hibernaculas died after White-nose syndrome swept through caves and mines in New England and New York, where bats hang in hibernation. Scientists are trying to determine how the fungus is connected to the deaths.

A cave in Connecticut that had 3,300 bats now would have 300, said Jenny Dickson, a supervising wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

"We went from no mortality to a tremendous amount of mortality," Dickson said.

Places in New York and Vermont with 100 times as many bats in one site are seeing similar decreases, she said.

Scientists are not sure how the fungus spreads and why it took off so rapidly this winter.

"We don't have all the answers we need yet," Dickson said. "It's critical for us to try to stop this from spreading in New England or throughout the country."

Nine states from Vermont to Virginia have been affected, with a death toll in the hundreds of thousands, said Robyn Niver, an endangered species biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The affected bats, which include little brown bats, northern long-eared bats and eastern pipistrelles, are starving and dehydrated, Dickson said.

Female bats have one to two offspring per year, and no one knows what a decimated population will mean for nature's equilibrium, Niver said.

Without bats as predators, night-flying insects such as moths and mosquitoes could thrive, which means pesticide use could increase, Dickson said

Dr. Michael Parry, Stamford Hospital's director of infectious diseases and microbiology, said it was too early to speculate whether the decrease in bats will cause a spike in human diseases. But the theory is sound, Parry said.

"More mosquitoes would translate into more potential for insect-born illnesses," such as West Nile Virus and equine encephalitis, he said.

In 2008, the state reported that mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus in 26 cities and towns, nearly twice the number from a year earlier.

Seven people contracted West Nile Virus in 2008, according to a report released in October. There were four cases of West Nile Virus in 2007.

The extent of the damage to the bat population in Connecticut remains to be seen, particularly in Fairfield County, where most of the bats migrate to neighboring states in the winter to hibernate, Dickson said.

Many hibernate in upstate New York, where White-nose syndrome first was documented in 2007, she said.

In 2008, New York's Department of Environmental Conservation documented tremendous mortality in hibernating bats. Other New England states, such as Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut, began seeing signs of the white fungus.

"Here we are a year later and the news is not getting better," Dickson said. "The mortality we're seeing is phenomenal -- piles of dead bat bodies."

Niver said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is applying for grants to fund research to determine what White-nose syndrome is and how scientists can stop its spread.

-- Residents should report erratic bat behavior, such as flying during the day, and the status of bat colonies on personal property by calling (860) 675-8130.

-- Staff Writer Devon Lash can be reached at 964-2242 or devon.lash@scni.com.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 05:06 AM
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As they says: 1+1 is not 2 in biology.

With all of the human science and technology it couldn't be appured what is the reason ...

At least, now we know that we don't know.

The dolphin/whales beaching seems fall in the same cat., or maybe we can say that there is an terrible marine mammals effort to escape out from the omnipresent fragorous infrasounds ...
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Old April 21st, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Source: http://www.newsleader.com/article/20...904210320/1002

Mysterious bat-killing disease found in 2 Va. caves

The Washington Post • April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — First, the frogs began disappearing, with as many as 122 species becoming extinct worldwide since 1980. Then honeybee colonies began to collapse. Scientists fear that bats might be next.

For the past three years, biologists in Virginia have been nervously watching a strange die-off of bats in the Northeast as a mysterious fungus spread rapidly through hibernating bat colonies, leaving caves that once served as safe havens for the hibernating creatures carpeted with the tiny, emaciated carcasses of an estimated 1 million dead bats.

Biologists here were hoping that the fungus would somehow be contained or would burn itself out. Instead, they were shocked last week when researchers confirmed the presence of the fungus, dubbed white nose syndrome for the ring of white fungus that collects on bats' muzzles and wings, in two caves in the state: Breathing Cave in Bath County and Clover Hollow in Giles County, hundreds of miles from the other known infected caves.

"We thought we'd have more time to prepare," said Rick Reynolds, a wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. But it wouldn't have mattered. "Unfortunately, no one knows what to do about it."

What is known is this: As many as 90 to 100 percent of the bats in infected colonies have died within a year of finding the fungus. And with its spread this far south, there's no reason to think it will stop. Scientists are beginning to whisper the unthinkable: complete annihilation of some species.

Just south of the infected Virginia caves, in Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Alabama, gather some of the largest populations of hibernating bats in the world. And these bats have been tracked flying hundreds of miles from their home caves. They could potentially come into contact with and infect or be infected by any number of other species of bats and the as yet incurable disease could be unstoppable.

"If this continues to spread, we are talking about extinctions," said Thomas Kunz, an ecologist and bat expert at Boston University. "I've studied bats for 44 years. This is unprecedented in my lifetime. It's not alarmist. These are just the facts."

(2 of 3)

Bats, like the disappearing honeybees and frogs, play a critical role in the delicate balance of nature. A single bat will eat 50 to 100 percent of its body weight in insects in a single night. Kunz conservatively calculates that the million bats that have died would have consumed about 694 tons of insects in one year: the equivalent weight of about 11 Abrams M1 tanks.

"You take these bats away, there are a lot of unknowns," Kunz said. "What are these insects going to do that aren't being eaten? They can cause serious damage to crops, gardens and forests, further upsetting both the natural and human-altered ecosystems."

In one study of eight Texas counties, Kunz said, researchers found that if bats disappeared, farmers would have to spend as much as $1.2 million more on pesticides each year. That means more-expensive food, more chemicals in the food supply and the environment, and who knows what other cascading effects on the animals that depend on bats as a source of food or their guano for nutrition. "Eventually, there's a threshold that's going to be reached," Kunz said. "That's not going to recover."

White nose syndrome does not appear to affect humans. That's a blessing and a curse, Kunz said. "There's been little attention and little sense of urgency about this," he said. "Most of us are doing this research on a shoestring."

The fungus appears to be similar to a cold-loving fungus found in caves in Europe. Hibernating bats there, although their populations are far smaller than those in the United States, have shown signs of infection, but none have died.

Did recreational cavers bring the fungus from Europe to the United States? Did spores travel in the wind? Has an always-present fungus been "activated" by something? "I don't think we can rule anything out," said David Blehert, a microbiologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who is researching the disease. "We just don't know."

Because the fungus appears to have leapfrogged this year from caves in the Northeast to Virginia and West Virginia, in caves better known for their popularity among recreational cavers than for big bat populations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued an advisory closing all caves in 17 states adjacent to the outbreak. No one knows how the disease is spreading _ whether bats are infecting other bats or humans are tracking the fungus into caves on their shoes, scientific survey gear or caving equipment, or some combination of the two. But officials say they want to err on the side of caution. "We're under no delusions that this is going to stop the spread of the disease," said Diana Weaver, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service. "We're just hoping to slow it down enough for science to catch up and find some answers."

(3 of 3)

In Virginia, site of the most recent outbreak, wildlife biologist Rick Reynolds raced to a school in Cumberland County one morning last week. He'd gotten a call that a bat was flying about in the cold in broad daylight. That was a bad sign. Healthy cave bats are nocturnal and go out only at night during warmer months.
They spend the winter hibernating deep inside caves, crevices or old mines. They hang upside down on cave walls in massive clusters, drop their body temperatures, which usually run about 100 degrees, to match the cave's cool climate and fall into a motionless sleep called torpor.

The bat had white spots on its nose and wings. Reynolds' heart sank. He brought the bat back to his office in Verona, bagged it and shoved it in the office freezer. He'll ship it to researchers to test for white nose syndrome. If the bat tests positive, it will mean the disease is on the march south.

Later, an hour away, in Breathing Cave in the Allegheny Mountains near the West Virginia line, Reynolds met with Rick Lambert of the Virginia Speleological Survey, who has been volunteering to check some of Virginia's 4,500 caves for the fungus.
They crawled on their bellies through the cave's narrow passage to reach the infected colony of little brown bats. The fungus is little more than a skin irritant, they explain, much like athlete's foot. Scientists aren't sure how it's killing the bats.

The best hypothesis is that the fungus is somehow disturbing the bats, causing them to wake more often than usual. They might be waking up so often that they use up their fat stores and starve to death. That's why infected bats are seen in the daylight, emaciated and searching for food. As the two men whispered, some of the fungus-covered bats stirred. Reynolds shook his head. "Nobody expected anything like this."

The two made their counts and took their leave.

"I'd like to give some advice to the southern states," Reynolds said. To him, the spread of the deadly fungus is only a matter of time. "I just don't know what that would be."
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/200...p_decline.html

Disease leads to steep decline in New Jersey bat population
by Brian Murray/The Star-Ledger
Sunday May 10, 2009, 7:23 AM

Between the densely forested banks of the Musconetcong River, a lone brown bat fluttered and tilted through a light drizzle to scoop up the newly hatched mayflies hovering over the dark water as it flowed through Stephen's State Park.

It is a scene quickly disappearing from New Jersey -- and the rest of the Northeast.

Extinction is a possibility for North American bats, biologists said last week as they continued to battle the enigmatic "white-nose syndrome" that has killed more than 1 million of the winged mammals since 2007 in nine states from Vermont to Virginia.

Bats help nature maintain an ecological balance and assist agriculture by feeding on insects. They also devour the pests that tend to bug people cooking or camping out in the summer months. Biologists contend a bat population of 100,000 eats upward of 21 tons of insects from spring to fall.

Last month, scientists entered the Hibernia mine in Rockaway Township, one of the region's largest bat "hibernaculum" or hibernating locations, to check on the bats before they normally fly out to summer roosting areas.

"We counted only 750 bats. ... We normally find between 26,000 and 29,000 bats in our counts there at the same time each year," said Mick Valent, a zoologist with the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.

It is unclear whether the missing bats, 95 percent of the population, are dead. But that has been the trend in other states since New York biologist Alan Hicks discovered the syndrome in 2006.

"White-nose syndrome" was discovered in New Jersey in January when Valent found hundreds of dead bats in the Hibernia mine. Other bats displayed classic traits of the syndrome -- prematurely leaving hibernation and frantically taking to the skies in search of insects that had not yet hatched. With their fat reserves exhausted and food unavailable, the bats froze and died.

Valent said there is a chance that some of the Hibernia mine bats survived and left the mine days before he got there.

"Some states had found bats in the areas of their summer roosts two to three weeks earlier than normal," Valent said. "I do know we had a high mortality. But we'll have a better sense of mortality in the fall when we see how many survived the summer and return to the hibernaculum."

Yet white-nose syndrome -- so-named because of a strange white fungus that appears on the noses and wings of affected bats --stresses bats even after they emerge from hibernation. Scientists are finding the wing membranes damaged on many bats and they fear the females may not be able to reproduce.

"We've found scar tissue and actual decomposition on the wings. If they can't navigate properly in flight, they can't feed and they can't reproduce,"
said Professor Thomas Kuhns, director of the Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology at Boston University.

The nine species of bats found in New Jersey, for example, mate in the fall before entering the hibernaculum, but suspend fertilization throughout hibernation and until they re-emerge in the spring. If the female bat has enough fat reserves, it will ovulate, become pregnant and give birth to one pup in summer.

"We predict some of them will not have enough fat to ovulate and ones with damaged wings will not get enough food to produce milk for the pups," said
Kuhns, who will lead a research team this summer to observe female bat roosting sites known as "maternity colonies" in old barns and trees.

Other biologists from several states, private organizations and government agencies may be close to determining a cause, how it spreads, and how to stop a potential wildfire-run across the nation. The fear is that white-nose syndrome will move to North America's largest bat colonies in the South and Southwest.

"We have a strong circumstantial case for the fungus," said microbiologist David Blehert at the National Health Center of the United States Geological Survey in Wisconsin, noting that until now, scientists were unsure whether the fungus was a symptom, side effect or the actual culprit.

"We have a paper coming out in the next two weeks, which ... describes the fungus as a new species and names it. The best data we have to date is, that it is associated with and causes severe skin infections with the bats we studied," he added.

Yet the bat deaths may still be part of a more complex relationship between the fungus and other factors, said Kuhns of Boston University, noting studies have found hibernating bats lack necessary unsaturated fats -- an important ingredient for survival and reproduction.

"It seems likely if the animals are not coming out in good condition from hibernation, the chances of raising young is not going to be successful. I think were are facing a double whammy," said Hicks, the New York biologist.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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How many ramaining years was propheted after the bees extintion ... 5 ?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Source: http://www.theleafchronicle.com/arti...ungus+outbreak

Dunbar Cave to remain open amid statewide cave closure

By ANN WALLACE • The Leaf-Chronicle • July 7, 2009

Tennessee wildlife officials are concerned about an endangered gray bat species in Middle Tennessee dying out.

Officials are so worried they have closed access to all caves on public lands for a year.

The massive closure effort is an attempt to deter the continued spread of a fungus that has killed almost a half-million bats from New York to Virginia in the last three years.

'We're at a critical moment in history," said Angela English, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wildlife diversity coordinator for Region 2, which covers Middle Tennessee.

"We're talking about the potential extinction of an entire species," said English.

Monday's TWRA statement indicated the closures are a response to a request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Nature Conservancy has also agreed to close all caves on its property.

The temporary closures are effective immediately and include caves, sinkholes, tunnels and abandoned mines.

Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, however will remain open. A state official said Tuesday morning the cave is exempt from the closure because of its strong cave access controls and the strength of its cave tourism program.

As previously reported in The Leaf-Chronicle, the deadly fungus is called White-Nose Syndrome, or WNS, because white appears on the faces, ears, wings and feet of hibernating bats.

Once a colony is affected, the fungus spreads rapidly and has killed at least 95 percent of bats at one hibernation site in just two years.

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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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"Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, however will remain open. A state official said Tuesday morning the cave is exempt from the closure because of its strong cave access controls and the strength of its cave tourism program."

Every time an closure containment wide effort is conducted (animals or humans),
some factor must divert or pose at risk the whole effort, by particular reasons.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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Source: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...storyID=879223

Bats suffering 90% death rate
Illness creates a 'sense of urgency'

By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer
Last updated: 1:35 p.m., Thursday, December 17, 2009

ALBANY -- Since appearing more than two years ago in Albany County caves, a mysterious bat malady has reduced the bat populations in caves across three states by more than 90 percent, according to counts released Wednesday by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The figures show the virulence linked to a fungal condition that wildlife researchers call "white nose syndrome," named for the white, fuzzy fungus found on the faces of afflicted bats. So far, there is no way to stop the spread of the illness, which leaves bats with too little body fat to survive winter hibernation.

In 23 caves surveyed, primarily in Albany and Schoharie counties, as well as four caves in Vermont and Massachusetts, about 4,800 bats were found last winter. That is down from surveys showing more than 55,000 bats for those same caves before the disease outbreak.

The figures include little brown bats, big brown bats and Indiana bats -- the last an endangered species.

"These numbers are about as bad as anyone could imagine," said Al Hicks, a DEC wildlife biologist. "It injects a sense of urgency to the matter. We don't have a lot of years to figure this out. If things continue at this rate, we will be in trouble."

Hicks and other state researchers visited the caves, taking pictures of tightly massed hibernating bats and counting each individual. He said the counts were based on at least 1,000 photographs.

Bats return to their caves to hibernate in the fall and, once gathered, are at risk of being exposed to the fungus again this winter. "We are gearing up now to get back into the caves and see what bats are in there," said Hicks.

Since being detected in Albany County caves in February 2007, white nose syndrome has spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of bats. It is not clear whether the fungus is a cause of death or appears only after the bats' health is compromised by some other ailment.

With too little fat to survive the winter and roused from hibernation by starvation, bats sometimes leave caves during winter in a fruitless search for insects to eat.

New York's bat survey, which is the first multi-state survey to be released, is "not unexpected, but very disappointing and depressing," said Jeremy Coleman, national white nose syndrome coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He said researchers are looking at possible fungal treatments to help cleanse caves where bats hibernate, and are also examining genetic differences between European bats, which seem less susceptible to the malady, and American bats.

"Right now, this fungus looks like an invasive (species) that was introduced," said Coleman. "It was not found previously anywhere in North America, and was somehow introduced here from another location. It is something that our bats never had to deal with before."

Caves in New York and other infected states have been closed to recreational cavers in an attempt to reduce the spread of the fungus. Federal officials are also advising that caves in states where the malady has not yet surfaced, like Ohio and Kentucky, also be closed to protect bats.

Brian Nearing can be reached at 454-5094 or at bnearing@timesunion.com.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...#ixzz0Zyf9xeVA
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tropical View Post
Maybe the insects they feed on carried into harming chems/gmo which disrupted the bats immune system and make it colapsing after the starving wintering period in the caves.
This was my first thought as I read this thread. I would much prefer a mosquito die-off. its December and I'm still being pestered by them
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/ho...html?viewAll=y

Posted on Tue, Jan. 26, 2010

Solving the mystery of the dying bats (Pennsylvania)

By Sandy Bauers
Inquirer Staff Writer

Deep in a cave in Mifflin County, Pa., surrounded by icicles and tilted slabs of rock, DeeAnn Reeder shone her headlamp on a tiny bat.

It was dead.

Cradling it in gloved hands, she stretched out its wings, fanned out its minuscule toes, and examined its snout.

"I've seen worse," Reeder whispered, "but, boy . . . he's just covered in fungus."

The Bucknell biology professor studied the bat. She knew it was white-nose syndrome, first discovered three years ago in a cave near Albany, N.Y. Bats that should have been hibernating inside were dead on the ground outside.

Since then, a million bats have died in the Northeast. Some caves have had 99 percent mortality.

In a growing what-done-it mystery, white-nose spread last year to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The latest models predict the little brown bat, the most numerous in the nation, could be extinct in 7 to 30 years.

"That's incredibly fast," said Greg Turner, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's endangered-mammal specialist. "Unprecedented is the word."

"Humans have done a pretty good job of killing a lot of animals, like the buffalo," he said, "but nothing like this has ever been recorded. It's pretty bleak. That's the only way to say it."

The bat decline echoes that of the world's frogs. And colony collapse disorder among honeybees.

Some suggest links to pesticides or cascading effects of an altered environment.

White-nose isn't just about bats. It's also about bugs.

A lactating female can eat her body weight in insects in a single night. Scientists estimate the million bats lost so far would have eaten 694 tons of insects just last year.

Their diet includes crop pests and mosquitoes, which can spread West Nile disease and equine encephalitis.

Many of the bats so widespread in the summer here - living in attics, barns, and steeples - winter in caves such as the one in Mifflin County, said Scott Bearer, a bat expert with the Nature Conservancy, which owns the cave.

"Bats have a real value in the environment. This is an ecological disaster," said Jeremy Coleman, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's national white-nose syndrome coordinator. "If we lose them, I suspect that people will learn to appreciate them too late."

Last Thursday, the national nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed emergency petitions asking the U.S. government to close all federal caves because humans entering them without disinfecting their gear possibly could spread the fungus. The center also asked that two of the less-common species affected be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

"I think Pennsylvania bats are done," Reeder said.

White-nose affects six of the state's eight species. "Big browns will probably be OK. Our tree bats will probably be OK," she said. "Everybody else is going to go."

A mysterious killer

Researchers still know little about white-nose.

It wasn't until April 2008 that David Blehert, a U.S. Geological Survey microbiologist, isolated the fungus as a hitherto unknown member of the Geomyces genus. He named it destructans - for what it was doing to the bats.

They still don't know if the fungus itself is the killer. It could be a contributing factor or a symptom.

But Blehert said it caused severe skin lesions in bats - an obvious liability.

Bats, like other hibernating mammals, often rouse during the winter. One theory is that they're rebooting their immune systems.

But white-nose bats are inexplicably rousing too often and for too long, depleting their fat reserves. Starving, they leave the cave to find food. But the insects they need aren't there in winter.

In Pennsylvania, more than 13 sites in six counties are infected with white-nose.

In New Jersey, white-nose was found last year in the state's three most populous sites - all to the north - and two other sites.

Mick Valent, principal zoologist with the state Department of Environmental Protection, suspects the number is higher.

Last year, large-scale bat deaths didn't occur until February. So officials in both states are bracing for more.

Counting bats

Turner and Bearer didn't want to add to that casualty list. But the researchers knew their very presence in the cave might cause harm by rousing the bats from hibernation.

So they decided to enter just once this year. "We'll get this one snapshot," Bearer said.

Aiming their headlamps, Turner and Bearer would spend the next few hours crawling and slithering through a mile of passages, counting every bat they saw.

Back toward the cave entrance, Reeder and two graduate students processed bats they had collected.

Researchers are frantically gathering blood and DNA samples, both for current studies and as a potential record of the fungus' spread.

The Smithsonian Institution is serving as a national archive of data and corpses.

In the cave, Reeder's students weighed each bat and measured its forearm to determine body mass index.

Sarah Brownlee of Coopersburg put a female into a small brown bag and set it on a portable scale. It was 6.4 grams - less than a quarter ounce.

Reeder flinched. "God, they're small."

Later, however, another female weighed 8.2 grams. "A nice fat girl," Reeder said. "That's what we like to see."

The students clipped hair between each bat's shoulder blades, then glued on a data-logger, smaller than a dime.

Programmed to record the bat's temperature every 10 minutes, they might show whether there was a pattern to arousal cycles.

Brownlee has set up motion-sensitive infrared cameras in caves to record what the bats do when they rouse. Are they grooming off the fungus, consuming even more energy?

Back at Bucknell, Laura Grieneisen of Carlisle will place the bats in a box with one end cooler than the other. She hopes to show which temperatures the white-nose bats prefer and whether that's different from healthy bats.

So far, no one has found a treatment, although they are investigating potential vaccines and a spray that contains an ingredient from a drug for athlete's foot. They plan to dose bats in Bucks County's Durham Mine with antifungal vapors.

Last fall, Congress approved $1.9 million for white-nose research. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has dedicated funds along with states and private groups including Bat Conservation International and the National Speleological Society, a caving group.

It's not nearly enough, Reeder said. "We need money to do the assays. I need bodies out in the field."

It's a race against time. "I view this thing like a wildfire that's just blowing so hot and so fast across the country," she said. "We've got to figure out, do we do a firebreak?"

So far, white-nose has not spread west of the Allegheny Front - a continental divide roughly along the I-99 corridor in Western Pennsylvania.

If they find a treatment, they can target bat caves along this line - or wherever else makes sense at the time.

The problem is, the bats go where they go, some migrating hundreds of miles.

One ray of hope has come with the recent discovery of the fungus in a cave in France. It lends credence to the hypothesis that bats in Europe, perhaps similarly decimated long ago, developed an immunity.

The bat cave

Turner and Bearer finally emerged from the cave, mud-covered and bruised from the jagged rocks and tight spaces.

Last year, there had been 4,100 bats. This year, just 750. About 82 percent had died.

"Unfortunately, that's good," Turner said. It wasn't 99 percent, as in other caves.

The researchers trooped wearily back to their cars, a quarter mile along a snowy slope above a frozen stream.

An hour later, in a basement lab posted "Bucknell bat cave," Reeder's students transferred the bats to cages.

Many were motionless, still in a torpor. Others crawled about groggily.

"OK, ladies," Brownlee said, carrying a cage toward a huge cooler, calibrated to mimic conditions in the cave.

Infected with fungus, the bats will likely die soon. But perhaps not before they help the researchers uncover more of their secrets.

Contact staff writer Sandy Bauers at 215-854-5147 or sbauers@phillynews.com.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Source: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...46/2066/NEWS03

Bat disease could wipe out huge ally in Tenn. agriculture
By Anne Paine • THE TENNESSEAN • February 18, 2010

A mysterious fungus that has wiped out entire bat colonies in parts of the eastern U.S., has arrived in Tennessee, prompting worries about how a loss of insect-eating bat populations could affect everything from farming to the increased spread of West Nile virus.

Two bats that died during hibernation in Worley's Cave, also called Morril's Cave, in Sullivan County have tested positive for the highly contagious white-nose syndrome.

The losses that could follow as it spreads could eclipse the estimated 1 million bat deaths over three years from New York state southward, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

That's because Tennessee has more than 9,600 caves, and, unlike in the Northeast, some here can host hibernating colonies of 100,000 bats or more each winter.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Or there is no real willing to find the root of the problem and resolve it,
or the ghost is out for the bats as for other past organisms species perished in the 19-20 centuries after milions/etc. years of healthy living on earth (thanks humans assistance).

This sentence:
"have tested positive for the highly contagious white-nose syndrome"

seems to confirm that the infection came from the fungus itself?

But from previous posts in this thread:

""Here are two examples where you need all this information, but until now, no one saw any apparent benefit to doing the research," she said. "It's especially relevant with parasites because we have hundreds of examples where they are vectors of diseases, but we have no idea with what frequency parasites occur on bats, potentially carrying pathogens from bat to bat. We need to do basic research and should always remember that many great discoveries were made purely by serendipity.""

"Tuttle doesn’t view the bat die-off as an isolated incident. Recently, scientists have been baffled by the unexplained disappearance of millions of commercial honeybees, a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, and a few years ago scientists reported that a strange new fungus that kills frogs, toads and other species of amphibians was spreading around the globe."
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Old March 20th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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The disease has made it's way to Canada...
Source: http://www.thespec.com/News/CanadaWorld/article/740241

Bats in Ontario found to have deadly disease

March 20, 2010
The Canadian Press
TORONTO (Mar 20, 2010)

A mysterious illness that has killed upwards of 500,000 bats in the northeastern United States has now been detected in the animals in Ontario.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is confirming the first case of bats with a disease known as white-nose syndrome in the Bancroft-Minden area...
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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands

Originally Posted by tropical View Post
This sentence:
"have tested positive for the highly contagious white-nose syndrome"

seems to confirm that the infection came from the fungus itself?
The fungus is associated with the syndrome (loss of body weight, abnormal breaks in hibernation that cause the bats to be active in times of no food, mass colony die-offs, etc.) but is not known to be causitive. So far, no causitive agent has been identified.

They apparently use the term 'contagious' loosely due to the rapid geographic spread of the syndrome.
Separate the wheat from the chaff

Last edited by Farmer; March 25th, 2010 at 12:16 PM. Reason: typo
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Old March 25th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands

************************************************** ****************

Date: 22 Mar 2010

Source: Science News

Athlete's foot therapy tapped to treat bat-killing fungus
Over the past 4 years, a mysterious white-nose fungus [responsible
for the White Nose Syndrome (WNS) - Mod.TG] has struck hibernating
North American bats. Populations in affected caves and mines can
experience death rates of more than 80 percent over a winter. In
desperation, an informal interagency task force of scientists from
state and federal agencies has just launched an experimental program
to fight the plague. Their weapon: a drug ordinarily used to treat
athlete's foot.

John Eisemann of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, better known as APHIS, in Fort Collins, Colorado,
mentioned the new program during his talk, here, at the American
Chemical Society's spring national meeting. He was describing legal
tactics by which wildlife officials can thwart invasive vertebrate
species with off-the-shelf chemicals.

He noted, for instance, how scientists have used a contraceptive
vaccine -- one designed to control white-tail deer populations -- on
rodents. It offered a nonlethal approach to reining in the population
explosion of non-native fox squirrels on a University of California
campus. In another instance, wildlife managers employed a cholesterol
inhibiting drug to reduce sex hormone levels -- and the urge to
reproduce -- among invasive monk parakeets. And on Guam, Eisemann's
team designed special traps baited with neonatal mouse carcasses.
Each bait had been implanted with a child's dose of acetaminophen,
the active ingredient in Tylenol. It proved amazingly effective in
strategically poisoning a major scourge, invasive brown tree snakes
-- and only that species.

The bat task force enlisted Eisemann's help to make sure that
whatever they tried would be legal. He's the go-to guy for
identifying what permissions, waivers or requests are required before
wildlife managers can apply poisons or anti-fertility drugs. The Food
and Drug Administration allows for some off-label use of an existing
drug as a veterinary prescription. And that's the tactic he arranged
for the task force to use with the athlete's foot drug.

Theoretically, Eisemann says, it should have been possible for
scientists to apply to get the chemical officially registered -- as
in approved -- for use on bats. But with the disease spreading like
wildfire and the potential market for a white-nose therapeutic tiny,
the time and expense didn't seem feasible.

Afraid of upsetting the ecological balance of endemic fungi in caves,
the scientists decided to pilot test the program in already perturbed
and disturbed environments -- a few mines in upstate New York.
Earlier this year, the researchers applied the antifungal medicine
onto the noses of several hundred bats. It killed the fungus,
Eisemann says. Now the goal is to see if and how it might have
affected the treated colonies' die-off rate, since only a small share
of any population had their noses rubbed with the antifungal drug.

Indeed, the scientists are hoping they might not need to treat the
entire colony. "If there's enough communal grooming," Eisemann said,
"they may only need to treat a certain percentage of the bats."

[Byline: Janet Raloff]

[While there still seem to be many unknowns, it looks like there may
be a glimmer of hope to control this disease that is having such an
impact on the bat populations. - Mod.TG]

~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 04:36 PM
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Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...ent_of_nj.html

Fungus kills 90 percent of N.J. bat population, scientists say
By The Associated Press
April 03, 2010, 1:45PM

HACKENSACK — A fungus has killed off about 90 percent of the state's bat population, according to scientists who recently conducted a count of hibernating bats.

The devastation was shocking in the largest hibernation spot for bats in New Jersey — Morris County's Hibernia Mine. As many as 30,000 bats normally spend the winter, but a recent count found only about 1,700 alive — and many of those showed signs of infection, said Mick Valent, principal zoologist with the state's Endangered and Non-game Species Program.

"The results we had from Hibernia Mine were certainly not good news," Valent said...
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands - Possible treatment

Just read that on the west coast there is a fungal epidemic affecting Douglas fir trees. The article relates it to climate change plus the planting of the species in monocultures by the timber industry. There are environmental concerns in using fungicides, so they may alter tree farming practices in response.
Forests at Risk: Swiss Needle Cast Epidemic in Douglas-Fir Trees Unprecedented, Still Getting Worse

ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2010) — The Swiss needle cast epidemic in Douglas-fir forests of the coastal Pacific Northwest is continuing to intensify, appears to be unprecedented over at least the past 100 years, and is probably linked to the extensive planting of Douglas-fir along the coast and a warmer climate, new research concludes.

Scientists in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University have also found that this disease, which is affecting hundreds of thousands of acres in Oregon and Washington and costing tens of millions of dollars a year in lost growth, can affect older trees as well as young stands -- in some cases causing their growth to almost grind to a halt.

The newest findings were just published in Forest Ecology and Management, a professional journal.

Swiss needle cast is a native fungal disease specific to Douglas-fir that was first described in Europe. It rarely kills trees but causes discoloration, loss of needles and growth reduction, and is common in the Pacific Northwest wherever Douglas-fir grows. However, it caused significant problems only in recent decades along the coast.

Starting in 1984, an epidemic began to develop, and it significantly worsened after 1996.

"It's now clear that this epidemic is a new phenomenon, with far more severity and impact than anything we've observed from Swiss needle cast in the past," said Dave Shaw, an assistant professor at OSU and director of a cooperative designed to fight this disease. "We've known of this disease for decades but it was considered a non-issue in terms of forest health. A perfect storm of conditions that favor this fungus has caused a major epidemic that is still growing."............
Since some bats are resistant to the fungus, I wonder if it might be best to let the others die off without fungicide intervention? I suppose that could create an evolutionary bottleneck which happened with the Tasmanian Devil, and that is thought to have made them vulnerable to the transmissible cancer. (Dogs are the other species that has a transmissible cancer, and they have been highly inbred, or their ancestors might have had a genetic bottleneck that spawned that cancer when a population was dramatically reduced by natural factors.)
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Old April 10th, 2010, 07:35 AM
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Source: http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/Art...aspx?e=2528217

Bat ailment found in Flesherton (Ontario, Canada)
Posted By Don Crosby
Posted 7 hours ago

Grey County has been invaded by a rare fungus linked to the death of more than a million bats in the northeastern United States.

Evidence was uncovered in four dead bats found near Flesherton in early March.

The fungus itself doesn't kill bats, but it is believed to be linked to what is called white nose syndrome, which leaves the bats looking like their snouts have been dusted with flour. The cause of death is still unknown...
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Source: http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com...aspx?e=2532805

MNR keeping eye on spread of bat disease (Ontario, Canada)
Posted By
Posted 0 sec ago

Bats can eat up to three times their body weight each night.

White nose syndrome was first discovered in bats in Albany, N.Y. in the winter of 2006 and has since spread to 11 states. It typically kills between 80% and 99% of the bats in a hibernation area.

Of the eight species of bats in Ontario, white nose syndrome affects the five cave-dwelling species that hibernate during the winter. The little brown bat appears to be the most susceptible.

The remaining three species are migratory bats that spend the winter in Central and South America.

"The three species that migrate aren't known to be affected by white nose syndrome," said Dungavell.

The fungus is thought to be native to Europe where it's found among the bat population but isn't linked to deaths...
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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Source: http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15...-is-bleak.html

Outlook for Connecticut’s bats is bleak

Written by Dennis Schain
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:28


...Jenny Dickson, DEP Supervising wildlife biologist, said, “White Nose Syndrome continues to have a catastrophic effect on bats. Just three short years ago, one of Connecticut’s largest hibernacula had over 3,300 wintering bats. This year fewer than a dozen remain — all but one showed active signs of WNS. The outlook for their survival is grim.”

The DEP says visits to other winter hibernacula — caves and mines where bats hibernate — revealed similar mortality rates. Another large site showed a 95% decline in bat numbers since a winter count in 2007. The only positive note from the 2010 surveys was that only three of the remaining bats at that site showed visible signs of the fungus.

Ms. Dickson also noted that WNS continues to take a devastating toll in the nearby states of New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, where a significant percentage of the state’s bat population hibernates for the winter....
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Old April 30th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Source: http://wjz.com/wireapnewsmd/Fungus.a...2.1666689.html

Apr 30, 2010 12:42 pm US/Eastern
Bat Fungus Found In Delaware
DOVER, Del. (AP) ― State wildlife officials says a fungus associated with a disease fatal to bats has been found in Delaware...
...Officials said Friday that the fungus has been found at two summer roosting site in New Castle County...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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"Fungus that is fatal to bats foils cave lovers in Missouri

Caves in most Missouri state parks will be closed for at least a few months to try to curb a fungus that has killed more than 1 million bats...

The state park system’s four major tour caves that will remain open are Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave at Onondaga Cave State Park, Fisher Cave at Meramec State Park, and Ozark Caverns at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, DNR officials said....

After discovering the fungus-infected bat last month, the Missouri Department of Conservation closed its more than 240 caves that already had limited entry. A year ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, anticipating the advancing fungus, ordered its Mark Twain National Forest caves closed..."

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/05/05...#ixzz0n9zLQ064
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Old May 7th, 2010, 03:29 AM
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"After discovering the fungus-infected bat last month, the Missouri Department of Conservation closed its more than 240 caves that already had limited entry. A year ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, anticipating the advancing fungus, ordered its Mark Twain National Forest caves closed...""

complete impotence of today's hightech human scientific biotechs to treat or prevent an animal fungal disease one year after ...
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Old May 18th, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands - Possible treatment

Now reported in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 17:04:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: ProMED-mail
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> White nose syndrome, bats - USA (09): (OK, MO)

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
[1] Oklahoma
[2] Oklahoma
[3] Missouri

[The following messages were forwarded to ProMED by Angie McIntire of
the Arizona Game & Fish Department, . - Mod.MHJ]

[1] Oklahoma
Date: 14 May 2010
From: Richard Stark

A cave myotis _Myotis velifer_ collected from the James Selman Cave
system in Woodward County, Oklahoma, has tested POSITIVE for
_Geomyces destructans_. _G. destructans_ is the fungus associated
with white-nose syndrome. Anne Ballman, a Wildlife Disease Specialist
with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI just
called to notify me. The bat was collected by a graduate student
working for the Oklahoma Biological Survey on 3 May 2010.

The lab initially ran a PCR test which was positive for _G.
destructans_. Follow-up genetic sequencing confirmed the find is a
100 percent match for _G. destructans_. However, the pattern of
infection was not consistent with white-nose syndrome observed on
bats from the eastern U.S., nor were characteristic conidia observed
to assist in identifying the fungus observed. This means that the bat
is harboring the _G. destructans_ fungus, but should only be
considered "suspect positive" for WNS. The cave will now be
considered contaminated with the _G. destructans_ fungus. We will
need to communicate this finding with our partners to ensure that the
cave is closed to human visitation.

This is the 1st known record of _G. destructans_ in Region 2. This is
an extremely interesting find because _Myotis velifer_ is not known
from the eastern United States

- --
Richard Stark
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Oklahoma Ecological Services
9014 East 21st Street
Tulsa, OK 74129

[To find the James Selman Cave system, go to:
. - Mod.MHJ]

[2] Oklahoma
Date: 14 May 2010
From: Dixie Birch

Richard Hatcher is the Director of the Oklahoma Department of
Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), and we just spoke about closing the
cave to public access and possibly issuing a joint press release
early next week. Mr. Hatcher tells me that the cave is not generally
open to the public.

This situation has a number of unusual circumstances associated with
it. 1st, this is the 1st detection of possible WNS in the cave myotis
species. It is the 1st detection of possible WNS in Region 2 or in
Oklahoma, and this represents the most western detection of WNS in
the United States. This raises concerns for other bat species
throughout the states in Region 2. Richard Stark provides a link
above that will show you the range of cave myotis.

We believe that this makes the 13th state where WNS has been found in
the United States.

- --
Dixie L. Birch, Ph.D.
Field Supervisor/Project Leader
Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
9014 E. 21st Street
Tulsa, OK 74129

[3] Missouri
Date: 14 May 2010
From: Dena Matteson

Officials at Ozark National Scenic Riverways have announced the
closure of all caves in the park effective immediately. On 2 May
2010, bat researchers from Missouri State University found an
infectious fungus in 5 gray bats netted just outside a cave in
Shannon County, Missouri. The bats tested positive in a genetics test
for the _Geomyces destructans_ fungus, which causes White-Nose
Syndrome (WNS). Scars on their wings were a clue that the bats
probably were infected over the winter, when the fungus grows on the
bats' faces and skin during hibernation. The cool, damp conditions in
many caves provide an environment in which the fungus thrives.

WNS is a serious disease that has been responsible for the deaths of
over one million bats since its discovery in New York in 2006. The
1st occurrence in Missouri, the 12th state to document the disease,
was discovered in Pike County in April 2010. Six bat species were
known to be vulnerable, but the recent find is the 1st known case in
Shannon County and the 1st case in the federally endangered gray bat.

The westward spread of WNS is believed to occur primarily through
bat-to-bat contact but might also be transmitted on the clothes and
gear of humans who have visited an infected cave. Closing bat caves
to human entry reduces human disturbance of bats, which exacerbates
the mortality rate caused by WNS, and reduces the risk of possible
human-borne transmission. WNS does not infect other animals or humans.

The 4 biologists who discovered the infected bats are graduate
students supervised by Dr. Lynn Robbins at Missouri State University
and are conducting a bat research project supported by a grant from
the National Park Service. They had obtained netting permits from the
Missouri Department of Conservation, National Park Service, and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service for that purpose.

The cave, owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation, is on the
Current River within the boundaries of Ozark National Scenic
Riverways. The name and location are withheld to avoid disturbance of
the cave, which contains many natural resources and several species
of bats. A cave gate on the entrance prevents trespassers from entering.

Ozark Riverways protects over 300 caves within its boundaries. Access
to several of these has previously been restricted in order to
protect fragile resources and ecosystems. Due to WNS, the park is
exercising caution in managing activities that impact caves and bats.
Park Superintendent Reed Detring has determined that WNS is an
imminent threat to the cave bats in the park, and every effort should
be made to prevent or slow its spread.

The park is asking visitors to observe all closures and to avoid
other caves or passages of caves that may contain hibernating
populations of bats.

Round Spring Caverns will remain open to public tours at this time,
although the park will implement screening measures and precautions
designed to reduce the risk of human transmission of WNS. Visitors
should decontaminate all clothing, footwear, and gear upon exiting
any cave in order to reduce the possibility of transmitting the
disease. For more information regarding decontamination of clothing
and cave gear, please visit:

According to Detring, this new policy will be reviewed regularly as
new information about the spread of WNS becomes available. "The
park's biologists have been working diligently to gather information
about WNS since its discovery and to assess the cave resources at
Ozark Riverways. We are using the best scientific data at hand to
make decisions about our future management actions in this situation.
We will continue to gather information and cooperate with other
entities in order to protect these valuable resources."

The discovery of WNS in Missouri, a state with more than 6300 caves,
is troubling to the state's leading cave resource experts. "Missouri
is home to at least 12 species of bats," explained Missouri
Department of Conservation Cave Biologist Bill Elliott. "They are our
front-line defense against many insect pests including some moths,
certain beetles and mosquitoes. Insect pests can cause extensive
forest and agricultural damage. Missouri's 775 000 gray bats alone
eat more than 223 billion bugs a year, or about 540 tons. They also
play a vital role in cave ecosystems, providing nutrients for other
cave life through their droppings, or guano, and are food for other
animals such as snakes and owls."

The National Park Service will join other resource agencies in June
2010 to begin work on a comprehensive Statewide White-Nose Syndrome
Action Plan to address management of this issue.

- --
Communicated by:
Angela McIntire

[Our thanks to Angie. Members are encouraged to visit the White Nose
Syndrome Page: .

To find Shannon County, in SE OK, go to:
Ozark National; Scenic Riverways:
. - Mod.MHJ]

[see also:
White nose syndrome, bats - USA (08): (TN) 20100518.1630
White nose syndrome bats - USA (05): (NY) poss. treatment 20100325.0949
White nose syndrome - Canada: (ON) 1st report 20100322.0905
White nose syndrome bats - USA (04): (MD) 20100321.0896
White nose syndrome bats - USA (03): (WV) 20100225.0626
White nose syndrome bats - USA (02): (TN) 20100219.0570
White nose syndrome, bats - USA: (VT) 20100209.0438]
Separate the wheat from the chaff
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands - Possible treatment

Now in Quebec
Source: http://www.montrealgazette.com/techn...749/story.html

White-nose syndrome: North American bats are dying
By Hannah Hoag, Special to The Gazette May 28, 2010 8:02 PM

MONTREAL – In March, Frédérick Lelièvre found himself crawling through a narrow passage into the final chamber of the Laflèche Cave in Val des Monts. Raising his eyes to the hibernating bats on the rock above him, his heart dropped. The tiny lime-size animals were dusted with a white powdery substance. Most of them had it on their muzzles, and it was on the wings and the feet of others. It wasn’t a good sign.

Wildlife biologists in the United States have come across similar sights over the last four years. Since 2006, a strange new fungus has been spreading through bat roosts, from New Hampshire to Oklahoma, leaving a grisly mess of rotting bat carcasses and toothpick-size bones in its wake.

Until recently, the fungus had remained south of the border. But by March, the illness – dubbed white-nose syndrome – had spread to Ontario as well as Quebec.

Despite the scene before him, Lelièvre clung to the faint hope that this was something different. Unlike the bat hibernacula in the U.S., the Laflèche Cave wasn’t littered with carcasses.

“We looked at many, many bats, and we found the mould on them, but we found only a few dead bats,” says Lelièvre, a biologist at the Quebec Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife.

Lelièvre sent whole bats to the Centre québécois sur la santé des animaux sauvages at the Université de Montréal faculty of veterinary medicine in St. Hyacinthe for necropsies to look more closely at the bats' condition. Skin samples taken during the necropsy were then sent to the National Wildlife Health Centre in Madison, Wis., where a genetic test was used to identify the fungus. Both studies are necessary for diagnosis.

André Dallaire, a veterinary pathologist, studied the animals – outside and in – for signs of the infection. The fungus looks like “what you’d see if you had a piece of bread that you left too long on the countertop,” he says. Some of the bats he examined were emaciated, having burned though their body fat and muscle to try to stay alive.

By mid-April, Lelièvre had received word that the bats from the Outaouais area cave carried the same fungus as those in the U.S.

“I was very worried. I thought, ‘Oh, no! Are we also going to lose our bat populations?’ ” says Lelièvre.

More than one million bats have died in the U.S. In some hibernacula, 90 to 100 per cent of the bats have been reduced to a pile of bones. Aeolus Cave in East Dorset, Vt., – the largest hibernaculum in New England – once held an estimated 300,000 bats, says Scott Darling, a wildlife biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Now about one-tenth of the initial population remains.

The loss of so many bats has ramifications for humans and the ecosystem.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/techn...#ixzz0pHXHoijU
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Old May 29th, 2010, 02:19 AM
tropical tropical is offline
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands - Possible treatment

As already presumed, without some cure,
the disease tresspassed all borders to kill further,
no human sci special help used for the bats.

at this point,
this thread could freely cut off the last part of its name,
the " - Possible treatment"
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Old September 21st, 2010, 06:44 PM
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Shiloh Shiloh is offline
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Default Re: USA: Bats Die by the Thousands - Possible treatment

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39290633...ience-science/

Mysterious bat-killing disease appears harmless in Europe
Researchers confirmed presence of fungus associated with white-nose syndrome in living German, Swiss and Hungarian bats

By Wynne Parry
updated 9/21/2010 1:01:35 PM ET

Almost four years after bats in the Eastern United States began awakening from their winter slumber only to die en masse, the mechanism by which the so-called white-nose syndrome kills remains a mystery. The fungus associated with it, however, appears to have a European connection, scientists now say.

Reports of European bats sporting the white puffs of fungi on their muzzles, which are the signature of white-nose syndrome in the United States, date back to the early 1980s. But no one paid much attention, because it was not associated with mass mortalities, according to Gudrun Wibbelt, a veterinary pathologist with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin...
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