ROOM: Rooms 27 – Picuris, 29 – Sandia and 31 – Santa Ana Combined
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a lethal fungal disease of hibernating, insectivorous bats that has caused unprecedented declines in bat populations across eastern North America. To date, WNS has been confirmed in 31 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Given the continued spread of WNS and high mortality in several North American bat species, national cooperation is critical for monitoring and managing this disease. In response to the emergence of this pathogen, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, many agencies, institutions, and scientists have become involved in disease investigation, research, surveillance, and management efforts. Coordination of these efforts following standardized protocols and sharing of acquired information will facilitate greater understanding of this disease and its significance for bat populations and the ecosystem. This workshop will foster common understanding of WNS/Pd surveillance strategies, sampling techniques, diagnostic interpretation, and biosecurity and management recommendations to aid in the conservation of bats. Particular focus will be on strategies and recommendations that are relevant to the western US, where access to hibernating bats or knowledge of hibernacula may be limited. Lectures will be followed by a laboratory session that will allow participants to practice non-lethal sampling techniques, approved bat euthanasia methods and decontamination procedures.
Organizers: Michelle Verant, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO; Anne Ballmann, USGS National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI
Supported by: Wildlife Diseases Working Group of The Wildlife Society; Bat Conservation International; National Park Service; USGS National Wildlife Health Center