White-nose Syndrome and Minnesota's Bats

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Why we're concerned

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is white-nose syndrome?

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease that is killing hibernating bats in eastern North America. It is believed that more than 5.7 million bats have died as a result of the disease, so far.

Named for the white fungus that was observed on noses of the first infected bats, it also affects other body parts. A newly discovered fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, (formerly known as Geomyces destructans), has been demonstrated to cause WNS in bats. The fungus thrives in cold, humid conditions characteristic of the caves and mines that bats use to hibernate.

WNS was first documented New York in the winter of 2006-07. The disease continues to spread westward as shown in the map above.

 

How is WNS transmitted?

Is WNS dangerous to humans?

What are signs of WNS?

What should you do if you find dead or dying bats, or if you observe bats with signs of WNS?

What species of bats are affected?

Seven bat species reside in Minnesota. Four hibernate in caves and mines and three migrate out of the state during winter. All four of the hibernating species have been shown to be affected by WNS in other states. These are Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Northern Long-eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), Tricolored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), and Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus).

What you can do

Further information

Media Resources

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