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Deadly fungus threatens 9 bat species in Ga., Ky., N.C., S.C. and Tenn., expert says
Date:4/7/2010

scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and state agencies who are aggressively studying and trying to mitigate the effects of WNS.

So far, WNS is confirmed in the following 11 states: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. The disease is also confirmed in Canada. The first case of the disease in the United States was reported in New York State in 2006. The disease is confirmed in six bat species.

WNS affects bats that hibernate in caves and mines. Government agencies closed caves to the public in an effort to reduce the spread of WNS. The disease received its name because of the white fungus often seen on the noses, muzzles and wings of infected bats. In 2008, government scientists identified the fungus that causes WNS. Researchers are trying to better understand exactly how and why the fungus kills bats. More than a million bats have died as the result of WNS. Some experts believe the disease originated in Europe.


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Contact: Stevin Westcott
swestcott@fs.fed.us
828-259-0512
Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service
Source:Eurekalert

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