White-Nose Syndrome

In the winter of 2006, a white fungus was found on dead and dying bats in New York caves. The phenomenon has been named "White-nose Syndrome" (WNS), and has killed more than 5.7 million bats in North America. This novel disease is caused by the cold-loving fungus, Geomyces destructans. The fungus invades the dermal layers of hibernating bats, dehydrating them, and causing them to wake repeatedly through the winter months. This uses up critical, limited fat reserves, essentially making them starve to death. As of 2012, the disease, or the fungus that causes it has been confirmed in 21 states and 4 Canadian provinces; this issue has become a high priority to researchers and conservationists.

WBWG White-nose Syndrome Subcommittee Contacts:

Katie Gillies e-mail

WNS Resources

Letter to WAFWA Directors from WBWG

Letter to USFS Region 2 from WBWG

WBWG WNS Action Plan

WBWG WNS Brochure

US Fish & Wildlife WNS Decontamination Information

White-nose Syndrome Testimony before two House Subcommittees. June 4, 2009. Video at Committee of Natural Resources Website.


US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bat Conservation International

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