As deadly white-nose syndrome spreads west, bat biologists race to prepare


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Cori Lausen
Director of Bat Conservation

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Bats One Health

Published

2018-07-18

Disease has appeared for the first time in Manitoba, Minnesota and Wyoming

"Spring is a time when life bursts forth. We see new growth, births, and the emergence of hibernating animals. But as a bat biologist, spring is now a season of dread for me. Once again this year, I found myself awaiting news of the spread of deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS). We have learned that the fungus that causes this disease, attacking bats as they overwinter, has continued its westward march, appearing for the first time this year in Manitoba, Wyoming and Minnesota. This brings the tally to 36 infected U.S. states and seven infected provinces."

Bats aren’t just great fliers, they are also ready hitchhikers who will hitch a lift on anything from a camper van to a transport truck. And that means that eastern bats carrying the deadly White-nose syndrome fungus could arrive in Western Canada faster than we expect. We need to get our wheels spinning a lot faster if we are going to be ready to help western bats survive a disease that has killed millions of bats in the east.

Read the full story in Canadian Geographic.