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ODFW launches online bat reporting site – bats under siege

WNS disease has wiped out millions of bats back east - could decimate western populations as well - ODFW

WNS disease has wiped out millions of bats back east – could decimate western populations as well – ODFW

ODFW launches online bat reporting site

SALEM – With the recent confirmation of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in a little brown bat in Washington State, ODFW activated an online bat reporting website. Anyone finding a dead bat, or who observes bats flying during the day or during freezing weather, should report it to ODFW’s website or call the ODFW Wildlife Health Hotline at 866-968-2600.

ODFW veterinarian Colin Gillin said WNS is a fungal disease occurring in hibernating bats that has killed more than six million bats since 2006 when it was discovered in New York.

WNS disease quickly spread to 28 states and five Canadian provinces. Eastern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska were the farthest west that WNS was detected before it made an apparent 1,300 mile geographic leap to Washington.

WNS could potentially transmit to Oregon Conservation Strategy Species, and it could decimate populations of common bat species, putting them in conservation concern.

The USFWS leads a national WNS response effort, working with state and federal partners to survey for the disease.

Cave surveys by ODFW and federal partners over the last two years showed no evidence of WNS in Oregon’s bat population. ODFW will continue intensive surveillance, education and outreach to help protect this important group of animals in Oregon.

Visit www.whitenosesyndrome.org to follow the latest news, research, and resources.

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