Frequently Asked Questions
Can we control White-nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats?
Right now, there is no known cure for WNS. Current research efforts are focused on developing strategies to prevent or reduce mortality of bats from WNS and limit the disease spread. Effectively managing WNS will be difficult, but we will continue working together to save our bats.
The fungus that causes WNS is difficult to eliminate from the environment, so we do not expect to find a single treatment for eradicating the fungus. However, a combination of management actions may protect bats from infection and help their populations stabilize and recover. There is still reason to be hopeful! Some WNS management approaches that are being investigated include:
- Applying bacteria or fungi to inhibit fungal growth on bats or in hibernaculum environments;
- Developing vaccines to help bats’ immune systems recognize and fight the pathogen;
- Using anti-fungal chemicals to treat affected bats or reduce environmental contamination;
- Modifying hibernation environments to reduce pathogen growth or spread.
How long can the fungus survive in a cave?
Spores of the fungus that causes WNS - Pseudogymnoascus destructans - persist for years. The microscopic spores could be transported easily on clothing or gear and can persist in cave and mine walls and sediments for years.
How can I help fight White-nose Syndrome?
- Stay out of sites where bats are hibernating and decontaminate caving gear and clothes after visiting any cave sites, even if you didn’t see any bats! People can move the fungus on their clothing and gear and spread the fungus.
- Never take caving gear or wear clothing used in a WNS area and use it in an area that does not currently have WNS!
- Donate to BCI’s WNS research fund.
- Contact your state or federal legislators and ask to support and increase funding for White-nose Syndrome .
- If you find a sick or injured bat or need a bat removed, contact your local wildlife agency. Do not touch a wild bat!
- Learn more about bats and their value and share what you know with others.
Who do I contact if I see bats with WNS in a new area?
Contact your local Fish and Wildlife agency. Do not handle live or dead bats!
- Report sick or dead bats in California
- Report sick or dead bats in Idaho
- Report sick or dead bats in Maine
- Report sick or dead bats in Montana
- Report sick or dead bats in Oregon
- Report sick or dead bats in Texas
- Report sick or dead bats in Washington
- Report sick or dead bats everywhere else -Contact your local wildlife agency
Are there any materials about WNS I can download and print?
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