Trouble in the heartland
Biologists collect a wing swab from a Myotis spp. Photo: National Wildlife Health Center, USGS.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. And I hope you had a very happy Friday the 13th!

I have some sad news. The fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome was recently detected in North Dakota for the first time. It was found on a little brown bat just inside the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site boundary. It is important to know that the fungus was found, but not the disease WNS itself. This means that North Dakota will be joining Wyoming, Mississippi, and Texas as another state where the fungus has been detected, but not White Nose Syndrome. The sample was found during a field examination of live bats, using swab samples to collect data. The results were tested multiple times before being officially confirmed. The only way to test specifically for White Nose Syndrome is by a microscopic examination of tissue samples. Since samples were not collected from the bat, researchers can’t say if WNS was also present.

If you want to read more about this, you can find the article here.

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