Fungus, formerly known as Geomyces destructans is now known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd. (Minnis and Lindner 2013)
White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)
Europe (Leopardi et al. 2015)
First detected in Albany County, New York in 2007, but the earliest evidence of the disease is from February 2006 in Schoharie County, New York (Hoyt et al. 2021)
Most likely introduced by human activity, possibly by a visitor to a show cave in New York. (Leopardi et al. 2015; Puechmaille et al. 2011)
Disease of bats causing a population decline of 72 to 88 percent of hibernating species in the northeastern U.S. (Lorch et al. 2012; Puechmaille et al. 2011)
USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.
"Almost all North American bats rely on forests for survival," says Roger Perry, USDA Forest Service research wildlife biologist. Perry recently led the team that updated Forest Management and Bats, a booklet designed for private landowners and anyone managing forests. It was first published in 2006 by Bat Conservation International, and Daniel Taylor of BCI wrote the original version and contributed to the update. The updated publication is a 2020 product of the White-nose Syndrome National Plan.
DOI. NPS. Devils Tower National Monument.
Wildlife researchers have confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats at Devils Tower National Monument. While this is the first confirmation of WNS in the state, the fungus that causes WNS, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), was potentially detected in southeast Wyoming as early as 2018. Biologists from the University of Wyoming discovered evidence of WNS during surveys completed in early May 2021, when they captured and sampled bats to test for the fungus.
The NPS will be working closely with the climbing community at Devils Tower to better understand and develop guidance for climbers to help care for and protect Wyoming’s bat populations – including how to safely clean and disinfect climbing gear. Climbers and cavers who have used gear or clothing in WNS-infected areas should not re-use them in areas not already known to have Pd fungus. If you see a sick or dead bat, report it to park rangers or Game and Fish biologists, but do not touch or pick up the bat.
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
White-nose syndrome has killed over 90% of northern long-eared, little brown and tri-colored bat populations in fewer than 10 years, according to a new study published in Conservation Biology. Researchers also noted declines in Indiana bat and big brown bat populations. The findings, detailed in "The scope and severity of white-nose syndrome on hibernating bats in North America," underscore the devastating impacts of the deadly fungal disease. The research tapped into the most comprehensive data set on North American bat populations to date, which includes data from over 200 locations in 27 states and two Canadian provinces.
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that a team of six researchers from Oregon State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz are the winners of a national prize challenge to combat white-nose syndrome (WNS), a lethal wildlife disease that has killed millions of bats in North America and pushed some native bat species to the brink of extinction. The Service's White-nose Syndrome Program launched the challenge last October as part of a multi-faceted funding strategy to develop management tools to fight the disease. A total of 47 proposed solutions were submitted for permanently eradicating, weakening or disarming Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes WNS, thereby improving survival in bat species affected by the disease. A panel of 18 experts from academic institutions, federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations evaluated the challenge entries based on readiness, deployment scale, species susceptibility, ease of use, cost efficiency, efficacy and risk to resources.
In the coming months, the Service will announce a second challenge to offer an additional $80,000, as we continue to pursue novel, innovative solutions that could help us permanently eradicate, weaken, or disarm the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. The Service plans to hold additional idea prize challenges in the future to invite solvers with a diverse array of knowledge, skills, expertise and perspectives to help the agency tackle today’s toughest conservation issues.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
For the first time, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists have confirmed the disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) in a Texas bat. Up until this point, while the fungus that causes the disease was previously detected in Texas in 2017, there were no signs of the disease it can cause. WNS has killed millions of hibernating bats in the eastern parts of the United States, raising national concern. WNS is a fungal disease only known to occur in bats and is not a risk to people. However, bats are wild animals and should not be handled by untrained individuals. The public is encouraged to report dead or sick bats to TPWD at email@example.com for possible testing.
Distribution / Maps / Survey Status
Google. YouTube; VICE News; HBO.
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Google. YouTube; Parks Canada.
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for White-Nose Syndrome.
Council or Task Force
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada). Wildlife Management.
British Columbia Ministry of Environment (Canada).
State and Local Government
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
University of Pennsylvania. School of Veterinary Medicine. Wildlife Futures Program.
Cornell University. Cornell Wildlife Health Lab.
National Speleological Society.
Bat Conservation International.
Hoyt, J.R., A.M. Kilpatrick, and K.E. Langwig. 2021. Ecology and impacts of white-nose syndrome on bats. Nature Reviews Microbiology 19:196–210.
Leopardi, S., D. Blake, and S.J. Puechmaille. 2015. White-Nose Syndrome fungus introduced from Europe to North America. Current Biology 25(6):R217-R219.
Lorch, J.M., L.K. Muller, R.E. Russell, M. O'Connor, D.L. Lindner, and D.S. Blehert. 2012. Distribution and environmental persistence of the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, Geomyces destructans, in bat hibernacula of the eastern United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79(4):1293-1301.
Minnis, A.M. and D. L. Lindner. 2013. Phylogenetic evaluation of Geomyces and allies reveals no close relatives of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, comb. nov., in bat hibernacula of eastern North America. Fungal Biology 117(9):638–649.
Puechmaille, S.J., W.F. Frick, T.H. Kunz, P.A. Racey, C.C. Voigt, G. Wibbelt, and E.C. Teeling. 2011. White-nose syndrome: is this emerging disease a threat to European bats? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(11):570-576.