April 14, 2016
SALEM, Ore - With the recent confirmation of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in a little brown bat in Washington State, ODFW activated anonline bat reporting website. Anyone finding a dead bat or who observes bats flying during the day or during freezing weather should report this via the online site or call the ODFW Wildlife Health Hotline at 866-968-2600.
ODFW veterinarian Colin Gillin said WNS is a fungal disease occurring in hibernating bats that has killed more than six million bats since 2006 when it was discovered in New York.
This disease quickly spread to 28 states and five Canadian provinces. Eastern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska were the farthest west that WNS was detected before it made an apparent 1,300 mile geographic leap to Washington.
WNS could potentially transmit to Oregon Conservation Strategy Species, and it could decimate populations of common bat species, putting them in conservation concern.
The USFWS leads a national WNS response effort, working with state and federal partners to survey for the disease.
Cave surveys by ODFW and federal partners over the last two years show no evidence presently of WNS in Oregon’s bat population. ODFW will continue intensive surveillance, education and outreach to help protect this important group of animals in Oregon.
Visit www.whitenosesyndrome.org to follow the latest news, research, and resources.
Colin Gillin, 541-757-5232
Meghan Dugan, 541-440-3353