Bat Killing Fungus Detected at Liberty Park (Summit County, Ohio)

Biologists have confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome in bats living in the caves and ledges of Liberty Park in Twinsburg, OH.

The number of infected bats in this northern Summit County park is unknown, but the fungus responsible for white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than 5 million bats in eastern North America since it was first detected during the winter of 2006-07. The first documented case in Ohio was in 2011.

Park staff made the local discovery following a weekly survey of the area in mid-January. Biologists found a dead little brown bat outside one of the park’s off-trail caves and collected it for testing, and WNS was confirmed in the specimen by researchers at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia. In the days since, park biologists have witnessed bats congregating near the mouth of the cave – and bats should still be hibernating.