White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a deadly wildlife disease sweeping through bat populations in the eastern United States. WNS does not affect people. In 2006, a bat in New York was found with a white fungus on its nose (thus the name “white nose syndrome”). The Northeast region of the FWS has posted pictures of bats affected by WNS.
In 2007, bats across the northeast died in large numbers during the winter months, and most of the dead bats were affected by the white fungus. Since WNS was discovered in 2006, over a million bats have died and WNS has spread from one site in New York, down through the Appalachians to north-central Tennessee, and north into Ontario, Canada. Many scientists are calling WNS the biggest wildlife disaster in over 100 years. The map below shows the current spread of WNS overlaid on locations of the country’s most important bat caves (click on the map for a larger version).
Here’s some more information about WNS:
WNS Information: Print this out and distribute it at your school, club, or scouting group.
WNS Poster Print out this poster to help others understand WNS.
WNS FAQ from Bat Conservation International
WNS Newsletter from Bat Conservation International, February 2010