White Nose Syndrome in Northern Minnesota


Project Overview:

White nose syndrome is a deadly affliction for many species of North American bats. It is caused by a white fungus that affects hibernating bats; often manifesting itself on the the muzzles and wings of individuals. First discovered to be causing mortality in 2006-2007, the disease has spread across the country and has devastated populations. There is a joint effort between federal, state, and non-profit agencies to learn more about white nose syndrome and how to suppress the affliction (Amelon et al., 2012). Biologists and technicians set up nets to catch wild bats and monitor the spread of the disease. During the summer months, the wing membranes of affected bats can show evidence of white nose. De-pigmentation, small holes in the membrane, necrotic tissue, and flaking skin on the forearms are evidentiary. All bats are weighed, sexed, inspected, and outfitted with an aluminum identification band and released (USFS, 2020). 


A red bat caught in the mist net before retrieval

A red bat caught in the mist net before retrieval

A big brown bat about to be released

A big brown bat about to be released

What can YOU do to help the effort?

-- Consider building a bat box (home for bats) on your property by following these bat box building instructions

-- If you find a natural bat "hibernacula" (where bats overwinter) or have a sighting of a bat that you suspect may have white nose syndrome, please report it to the USFS. 

-- Keep yourself informed and follow along by visiting this USFS web-page


Literature Cited:


Amelon, Sybill; Brooks, Robert T.; Glaeser, Jessie; Friggens, Megan; Lindner, Daniel; Loeb, Susan C.; Lynch, Ann; Minnis, Drew; Perry, Roger; Rowland, Mary M.; Tomosy, Monica; Weller, Ted. 2012. U.S. Forest Service Research and Development (USFS R/D) national science strategy on White Nose Syndrome (WNS). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Research and Development. 18 p.


United States Forest Service (USFS) United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2020. White Nose Syndrome. Retrieved from: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/disturbance/invasive_species/wns/

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