Illinois outdoors: Four more counties have white-nose syndrome

SHARE Illinois outdoors: Four more counties have white-nose syndrome
SHARE Illinois outdoors: Four more counties have white-nose syndrome

Four more counties in Illinois have confirmed white-nose syndrome in bats. It has killed millions of bats across North America. (Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service courtesy ofRyan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

White-NoseSyndromeFoundinFourAdditionalIllinoisCounties DiseaseThatHasKilledMillionsofBatsinNorthAmericaConfirmedForFirstTimeinUnion,Saline,JohnsonandJacksonCounties SPRINGFIELD–White-NoseSyndrome,afungaldiseasethathaskilledmillionsofbatsinNorthAmerica,hasbeenfoundinfournewIllinoiscounties.TestsconductedbytheU.S.GeologicalSurvey’sNationalWildlifeHealthCenterinMadison,WisconsinfoundfivebatssubmittedfromUnion,Saline,Johnson,andJacksonCountieswerepositiveforthedisease.Thesearethefirstconfirmedrecordsinthesecounties.ThediseasewasfirstdiscoveredinIllinoisin2013inHardin,LaSalle,MonroeandPopeCounties. White-nosesyndromeisnotknowntoaffectpeople,pets,orlivestockbutisharmfulorlethaltohibernatingbats,killing90percentormoreofsomespeciesofbatsincaveswherethefungushaspersistedforayearorlonger,accordingtotheU.S.FishandWildlifeService. WNSisknowntobetransmittedprimarilyfrombattobat,butsporesofPseudogymnoascusdestructans,thenon-nativefungusthatcauseswhite-nosesyndrome,maybeunintentionallycarriedbetweencavesandabandonedminesbypeopleontheirclothing,footwear,andcavinggear.Thenameofthediseasereferstothewhitefungalgrowthoftenfoundonthenosesofinfectedbats.Toprotecthibernatingbats,includingthreatenedandendangeredspecies,allIllinoisDepartmentofNaturalResources-ownedormanagedcaveshavebeenclosedtothepublicsince2010.Inaddition,allcaveswithintheShawneeNationalForest,managedbytheU.S.ForestService,havebeenformallyclosedsince2009. White-nosesyndromewasfirstdetectedinNewYorkStatein2006andhaskilledmorethan5.7millioncave-dwellingbatsintheeasternhalfofNorthAmerica.BatswithWNShavebeenconfirmedin25statesandfiveCanadianprovinces.WhiteNoseSyndromemonitoringinIllinoisisdoneincollaborationbyUniversityofIllinois–PrairieResearchInstitute,U.S.FishandWildlifeService,U.S.ForestService,andtheIllinoisDepartmentofNaturalResources. Batsplayanimportantroleintheenvironment,withindividualbatspreyingonthousandsofnight-flyinginsectsdaily.Batsprovidevaluableinsectpestcontrol. Formoreinformation,visit:www.whitenosesyndrome.org. FollowtheIDNRonFacebook and Twitter


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