In March 2016, white-nose syndrome (WNS) was confirmed in the state of Washington in a little brown bat from King County – the first recorded occurrence of this devastating bat disease in western North America.
Recently, a silver-haired bat from the same county also tested positive for Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the fungus that causes WNS. However, this silver-haired bat did not show signs, such as visible fungal growth or lesions, of having actually contracted WNS, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the WashingtonDepartment of Fish and Wildlife.
This new finding reinforces that although silver-haired bats are not known to develop WNS, they may be carriers of the Pd fungus to other bat species, USGS experts said. This finding also supports that sampling dead bats found on the landscape, including those submitted to state health laboratories for rabies testing, may be a relatively expedient and inexpensive way to conduct surveillance for Pd and WNS in western North America.
Further details are available in a new Wildlife Health Bulletin issued by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center.
For questions about study results
- Marisa Lubeck, USGS Office of Communications and Publishing, 303-526-6694, email@example.com
- Gail Moede Rogall, USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 608-270-2438, firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about state and local significance and response
- Katie Haman, Veterinarian, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 360-870-2135, Katherine.email@example.com
For questions about national significance and response
- Catherine Hibbard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 413-531-4276, Catherine_Hibbard@fws.gov