The ABCs of WNS

During Bat Week 2017, bat lovers around the world participated in the first organized "Twitter storm" for bats, where as many people as possible tweeted bat messages with the hashtag (#) BatWeek between 11 AM and 12 PM Eastern time on October 30.  Almost 2,500 people and organizations tweeted 4,500 tweets with #BatWeek, which was the 39th US trending topic during that time. The messages reached 11.6 million people, with potential social media impressions of 32.3 million.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife White Nose Bats Twitter account, @USFWS_WNS, participated in the Twitter storm, using #BatWeek, #ABCsofWNS and #whitenosesyndrome. So, with a nod to Sue Grafton, late author of the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series books (A is for Alibi, etc.), we list our Twitter Storm tweets of the ABCs of white-nose syndrome (WNS).


A is for Albany, NY area where white-nose syndrome was first detected in winter of 2006/2007; now in 31 states. White-nose syndrome spread map

B is for Bat Week, October 24-31 the 4th annual celebration of our only flighted mammals.  


A bat with its wing against a light box, showing bonesC is for Chiroptera, the scientific order of bats, which means hand-wing. White-nose syndrome often damages bat wings.





D is for Decontamination. Keep it clean and prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome!Graphic of a cave explorer 



A map with points on it where one can click to see stories; photos of stories on left E is for Echo-locate your favorite bat, white-nose syndrome story.                                           



F is for Fungus: Pseudogymnoascus destructansA black and white close-up of fungus showing hairlike structures protruding from fuzz.

G is for Grants: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners fund projects to fight white-nose syndrome. is the culprit causing white-nose syndrome.


A bat with the characteristic white fuzz of white-nose syndrome on its face. H is for Hibernation: White-nose syndrome attacks bats while they sleep through the winter.





I is for Indiana bat, an endangered species affected by white-nose syndrome. Photo by Andy King/USFWS. Dozens of bats huddled together.


Three men stand in front of a banner "Defeating white-nose syndrome". J is for Jeremy Coleman [center]and Jonathan Reichard [left], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service white-nose syndrome coordinators.


K is for Karst, bat habitat formed from dissolved rocks such as limestone forming underground streams and caves.

L is for Leading edge of white-nose syndrome disease front where we're trying to stop the spread. Two men stand in the woods with an infrared camera on a tripod.    

M is for the Mystery of how white-nose syndrome got to North America. No one knows; fungus probably from Europe.


Three men present another one with a Bat Week bat boxN is for the National Plan for white-nose syndrome response, which includes hundreds of partners.






O is for the Organization for Bat Conservation, one of the many partners in the white-nose syndrome national response. A man in a purple shirt shows a man in a suit a bat.    


White dots show on the outstretched wing of a bat.P is for Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the name of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome; Pd for short.

Q is for Quebec, one of the five Canadian provinces where #whitenosesyndrome has been confirmed.









R is for Research: Due to the great white-noses yndrome research, we know much about this previously unknown disease.A man with a headlamp over a bandana and blue latex gloves holds a bat with outreached wing against a lightbox


A brown bat with its mouth open sits on a blue latex-gloved hand.S is for Survival. Our goal: all bats affected by white-nose syndrome will survive, even threatened northern long-eared bats.     


T is for Treatments for white-nose syndrome, several of which got funding last week through Bats for the Future Fund.


U is for UV (ultraviolet) light, which is one of the promising treatments to fight white-nose syndrome.



V is for Vision that white-nose syndrome responders have to strategically fight the disease.A map of the U.S. showing red where white nose syndrome has hit (east), yellow where it has recently spread (midwest) and green where it has not yet been found (west)


W is for  where you can find up-to-date info about the bat disease. 



Skulls and bones of dead bats litter the ground.X is for the eXtreme mortality of bats due to white-nose syndrome. Six million and counting . . .           




Y is for You. Learn how you can help bats!A young boy with a bat costume poses next to a bat mascot.  


A healthy tricolored bat.Z is for Zones free of white-nose syndrome. Still 17 states where the fungus has not been confirmed. Let's keep it that way!