An extensive network of state and federal agencies is working to investigate the cause, source and spread of bat deaths associated with white-nose syndrome, and to develop management strategies to minimize the impacts of WNS.
The overall WNS investigation has three primary focus areas: research, monitoring/management and outreach. For example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting winter surveys to document and track affected sites, working with the caving community and local cave owners to target potential sites for surveys and protective measures, and securing funding to identify and fund research on the spread and management of WNS.
In 2009 and 2010, the Service led a team of federal and state agencies and tribes in preparing a national white-nose syndrome management plan to address the threat to hibernating bats. The plan provides a framework for coordinating and managing the national investigation and response to WNS. The National Plan for Assisting States, Federal Agencies, and Tribes in Managing White-Nose Syndrome in Bats finalized in May 2011, outlines the actions necessary for state, federal and tribal coordination, and provides an overall strategy for investigating the cause of WNS and finding ways to manage it.