Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dying Bats In The Northeast U.S. Remain A Mystery

Date:
May 11, 2008
Source:
United States Geological Survey
Summary:
Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has killed thousands of bats since March 2008. At more than 25 caves and mines in the northeastern US, bats exhibiting a condition now referred to as "white-nosed syndrome" have been dying. The US Geological Survey recently issued a Wildlife Health Bulletin, advising wildlife and officials throughout the US to lookout for the condition known as "white-nose syndrome" and to report suspected cases of the disease.

Hibernating bats showing white nose syndrome.
Credit: Al Hicks, New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of bats since March 2008. At more than 25 caves and mines in the northeastern U.S., bats exhibiting a condition now referred to as "white-nosed syndrome" have been dying.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently issued a Wildlife Health Bulletin, advising wildlife and conservation officials throughout the U.S. to be on the lookout for the condition known as "white-nose syndrome" and to report suspected cases of the disease.

USGS wildlife disease specialist Dr. Kimberli Miller advises that "anyone finding sick or dead bats should avoid handling them and should contact their state wildlife conservation agency or the nearest U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service field office to report their observation."

Large-scale wildlife mortality events should be reported to the USGS at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/mortality_events/reporting.jsp.

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. has received nearly 100 bat carcasses mostly from New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The syndrome affects species including the little brown, big brown, northern long-eared and eastern pipistrelle bats.

The condition was first observed in February 2007 in caves near Albany, N.Y. by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Dead and hibernating bats had a white substance on their heads and wings. In early 2008, "white-nosed" bats were once again seen at hibernation sites.

Scientists have collected environmental samples from affected caves and mines in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts in an effort to determine the cause of the deaths. Live, dead and dying bats were documented in and outside of hibernation sites.

The most common findings in the bats have been emaciation and poor body condition. Many of the bats examined had little or no body fat; some exhibited changes in the lung that have been difficult to characterize; and a majority had microscopic fungi on their bodies.

The white substance observed on some bats may represent an overgrowth of normal fungal colonizers of bat skin during hibernation and could be an indicator of overall poor health, rather than a primary pathogen. Scientists from a variety of agencies are investigating underlying environmental factors, potential secondary microbial pathogens and toxicants as possible causes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Geological Survey. "Dying Bats In The Northeast U.S. Remain A Mystery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508170916.htm>.
United States Geological Survey. (2008, May 11). Dying Bats In The Northeast U.S. Remain A Mystery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508170916.htm
United States Geological Survey. "Dying Bats In The Northeast U.S. Remain A Mystery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508170916.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins