White-nose Fungus Spreads West.
On Monday, we emailed you about White-nose Syndrome spreading to the endangered gray bat. Today, biologists have even worse and more shocking news. The fungus linked to WNS, which has killed over a million hibernating bats in the eastern United States, has made a frightening leap west. The fungus was found on an eighth bat species, the cave myotis, which commonly shares caves with migratory Mexican free-tailed bats. Though biologists are uncertain whether the WNS fungus will harm Mexican freetails or other non-hibernating species, this signals an imminent risk for bats across America. With migratory routes of 1,000 miles or more, freetails could potentially spread the fungus from coast to coast and into Mexico.
This is devastating news for the bat community and increases the urgent need for research to determine the cause of and find solutions for this wildlife disease. Last Friday, nearly 60 conservation groups asked Congress for $5 million to support WNS research efforts. But this process will take time, and there are no guarantees these desperately needed funds will be approved. Bats need our help more than ever. Please donate now.
Bat Conservation International
P.S. A million bats are gone forever. Please help us stop the spread of White-nose Syndrome.