White-Nose Syndrome

Little Brown Bats - White-nose Syndrome

For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all. — Aristotle

White-nose syndrome is a devastating disease killing bats throughout the country; millions of bats have died of the disease in the eastern United States. In some cases, more than 90% of bat populations have died from the disease. It has been three years since white-nose syndrome was found in Washington State.

White-nose syndrome is caused by a fungus (Pseudogynmnoascus destructans) that loves the cold. The fungus grows on the bats while they are hibernating in winter. In the spring, bats move from their wintering locations (hibernacula) to their summer locations, thereby spreading the disease, and bats with white-nose syndrome may leave the hibernacula only to succumb to the disease near their summering location.

Biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are interested in reports of bats found dead in March and April. The bats can be tested for white-nose syndrome or the presence of the fungus that causes it. For more information on white-nose syndrome in Washington bats, or to report a sick or dead bat, visit the WDFW website at wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases/bat-white-nose.

Additional information can be found at the Save Our Bats web site, www.saveourbats.org.