Minnesota Wild Animal Expert For Bats

August 16, 2011

Bat Control MN | Minnesota Bat Removal

White-nose Syndrome has devastated bat populations across the eastern United States during the past four years, causing “the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America,” according to biologists. And this relentless disease keeps spreading into new areas. Bat Conservation International (BCI) is working with agencies, organizations and individuals to understand and stop WNS and begin restoring these decimated bat populations.

White-nose Syndrome

What is White-nose Syndrome? White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is a new disease that is causing the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in the past century. It has killed more than one million bats in less than four years and threatens to devastate bat populations across the continent. Nearly 100 percent of bats have died at some sites.

 Why is it called White-nose Syndrome? This affliction was given its name because of a telltale white fungus that grows on the noses (and sometimes wings, ears and tails) of most infected bats. This fungus is new to science and has been named Geomyces destructans.

 Which bats are dying? Six bat species have been affected by WNS so far: little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), tri-colored bats (Perimyotis Subflavus), northern myotis (Myotis Septentrionalis), eastern small-footed myotis (Myotis leibii), and the endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis). Another three species have been detected with the WNS-associated fungus: gray bats (Myotis grisescens), southeastern bats (Myotis austroriparius) and cave myotis (Myotis velifer). If current infection and mortality patterns continue, 25 species of hibernating bats in the United States could decline, and WNS could threaten some previously common species with extinction.

How is it transmitted? Although bat-to-bat transmission is believed to be the primary route, circumstantial evidence suggests humans may also inadvertently carry WNS from infected sites to clean sites.

 How fast is it spreading? WNS, first detected in New York in February 2006, has spread rapidly throughout the eastern United States. Last winter, it spread 450 miles in a single winter and is now documented in 13 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces. Biologists fear it will reach the largest colonies of endangered Indiana, gray and Virginia and Ozark big-eared bats this winter.

Extreme care should be taken when attempting to catch a bat for rabies testing.  It is very important that proper inspection techniques and exclusion methods be utilized.  If your house is currently under attack by bats it is wise to call a professional Minnesota animal management company.


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