Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week!
Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share. DNA from the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome has been spotted in Californian bats for the first time. The fungus was sampled from four Little Brown bats in Plumas County near Lassen Volcanic National Park. This is devastating news. There are 25 different species of bats living in California. Of those, there are six that have been known to fall victim to White Nose Syndrome in other states. These are the Little Brown Bat, the Big Brown Bat, the Cave Bat, the Long-legged Bat, the Western Long-legged Bat, and the Yuma Bat. There are also four species that have been found carrying fungal material, but luckily so far, they haven’t shown any signs of developing White Nose Syndrome. These are the Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, the Silver-Haired Bat, and the Western Small-footed Bat.
Scientists have been working on treatments for bats with the disease. They have discovered that ultraviolet light will kill the fungus. They’ve also developed a probiotic treatment that could slow down the disease. And there is a possibility of an oral vaccine for bats at risk of coming into contact with the fungus that causes the disease. Hopefully one of these treatments will be able to help!
If you would like to read more about the situation in California you can do so here.
[Also, stay up to date on White Nose Syndrome issues at whitenosesyndrome.org–Ed.]