White Nose Syndrome in Northern Minnesota - Ryan Pennesi Photography
A big brown bat about to be released

A big brown bat about to be released

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). You can learn more about white nose syndrome by visiting: About White Nose Syndrome.

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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