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White-Nose Bat Syndrome

Since 2006, a newly discovered disease called White-Nose Syndrome has killed about 1 million bats in North America.  The disease is believed to originate from a cold-loving fungus that spreads among hibernating bats while in their caves.

While no cases of White-Nose Syndrome have been observed in Iowa yet, DNA of the fungus that causes the disease was detected from a swab sample of a bat collected at Maquoketa Caves in March of 2012. DNR experts have been monitoring bat populations, and state parks staff is educating the public while taking preventative measures to slow its potential spread.

Low-Level Detection of Fungus Dangerous to Bats Prompts Additional Precautions at Maquoketa Caves
Posted: 06/13/2012 (News Release)

Of the bat species affected in North America by White-Nose Syndrome, five are native to Iowa, including the Big Brown Bat, Little Brown Bat, Northern Bat, Tri-Colored Bat and the Indiana Bat.
Bat survey, Maquoketa Caves State ParkAbove: Scientists investigate Maquoketa Caves State Park for signs of White-Nose Syndrome in hibernating bats.

White-Nose Syndrome Brochure
Guide to White-Nose Syndrome & How to Help Prevent Its Spread 
Tips for Veterinarians and Wildlife Rehabilitators about White-Nose Syndrome
Tips for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators about White-Nose Syndrome

Additional White-Nose Syndrome Information

To report unusual bat behavior or deaths that you observe during winter or early spring (especially bats flying during the daytime, bats with difficulty flying, or large numbers of dead bats near cave or mine openings), contact the Iowa DNR; Daryl.Howell@dnr.iowa.gov or ISU Wildlife Extension; christof@iastate.edu

For general information about bats in Iowa:
To learn about bats in your dwelling visit the ISU Wildlife Extension bat web page.

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