Since its discovery in 2007, the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats. Ten of 47 bat species have been affected by WNS across 32 States and 5 Canadian Provinces. The cold-growing fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) that causes WNS infects skin covering the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats. The fungus erodes deep into the vitally important skin of bat wings and fatally disrupts hibernation of bats through physical damage and energy depletion as they try to cope with infection.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science has been critical in identifying the causal fungus, characterizing the effects of WNS, and tracking the fungus as it rapidly spreads through many populations of bats in North America. Early USGS research enhanced our understanding of how WNS affects individual bats and how the fungus persists in the environment. Today, USGS scientists are engaged in a nationwide response to WNS, in close coordination with our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
Hopkins, M.C., and Soileau, S.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3020,
4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183020.
ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)
ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)
Table of Contents
- Importance of Bats
- Early Detection Tools and Mapping the Spread of WNS
- Monitoring Bats
- Developing Treatments for WNS
- Assessing the Impact of WNS on Bat Populations
- Facilitating Adaptive WNS Management
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats|
|Series title||Fact Sheet|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Office of the AD Ecosystems|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|