Iowa: Low-Level Detection of Fungus Dangerous to Bats Prompts Additional Precautions at Maquoketa Caves
Efforts to prevent the spread of a fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats will be stepped up after a low level of the fungus was detected on a hibernating big brown bat at Maquoketa Caves State Park.
The detection of the fungus came from a swab taken during sampling on the hibernating bats in March. The testing is used to detect DNA that would indicate the presence of the fungus (Geomyces destructans) that causes white-nose syndrome, which has been deadly for bats particularly in the northeastern portions of the United States and Canada. The testing was done as part of a national study being conducted in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.