Citizen Help NEEDED!

Photo credit: MN DNR

Photo credit: MN DNR



States are in dire need of citizen help in gathering data to aid researchers in finding an effective way to dispense treatment for white-nose syndrome!


Report odd behavior, sick or dead bats, bats with white fungus on their face or wings, bats that seem to be having trouble flying, bats out during the day – especially in winter, bat colony locations – any information that could be helpful.



Jump to state-by-state contact info!      

What is White-nose syndrome?

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans), first documented in the winter of 2006 – 2007 in eastern New York.  Spreading across the nation at an alarming rate,  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that WNS had already killed 6.7 million bats just between 2006 and 2012! Estimates of bat population declines in the northeaster U.S. due to WNS are approximately 80%! In some affected regions, almost all the bats have been killed. This is a grave threat to our agricultural industry, which relies on bats to control insects. Note that a single bat eats up to 4,500 insects each night! This is the equivalent of its body weight.


Photo credit: USGS

Photo credit: USGS – WNS

This fungus attacks bats during hibernation when their body temperatures are low, infecting skin of the muzzle, ears, and wings. This causes the bats to wake often during hibernation, using up their fat stores to the point that they die of starvation and physical damage. About half of the 45 U.S. bat species hibernate.


Infected bats often display abnormal behaviors such as daytime flights during winter and moving, in general, closer to the mouths of caves during winter hibernation.


White-nose syndrome has been confirmed in bat hibernation sites in 29 states and 5 Canadian provinces: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.


In addition, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has been found in three additional states: Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma.


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You can help prevent the spread of WNS by following these tips:

  • Never wear shoes or clothing that has been in a cave, mine, or other location where bats hibernate outside of Florida into a Florida cave.
  • Recreational cavers should avoid using gear that was used in caves outside of Florida in Florida’s caves, unless it has been properly decontaminated following the decontamination guidelines set by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Do not disturb hibernating bats.


A treatment has been found for WNS, but treatment dispersal and contamination of caves is problematic. A spine-chilling note from Georgia State University Crow Lab warns:

P. destructans spores can remain viable in host-free environments for extended periods of time. Repopulating a WNS-affected cave with bats has the potential to facilitate infection of the new colony. In addition, the physical inaccessibility of many parts of caves where bats hibernate make developing disease management solutions a significant challenge. Our research focus is to develop methods for disease treatment and prevention that are safe for both bats and the environment, and can overcome the difficulties of working in karst [landscape underlain by limestone that has been eroded by dissolution, producing ridges, towers, fissures, sinkholes, and other characteristic landforms] environments.”


Bat species confirmed with WNS

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii)
Gray bat (Myotis grisescens) endangered
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) endangered
Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)
Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) threatened
Tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus)


Bat species – Pseudogymnoascus destructans detected, without disease

Eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis)
Southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius)
Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)
Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) endangered


Species federally list as endangered – in affected area – without disease

Ozark big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens) endangered

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Citizen help is Needed!

State-by-state contact information. Please help identify potentially affected bats! Use these forms to report unusual bat activity or groups of bat. The DNR is interested in winter and summer roost sites –as well as sick or dying bats– as part of its monitoring for the presence of White-nose Syndrome (WNS).


More state contacts to be uploaded as they are found. To contribute a link and/or phone number for your state, please contact Paws – and thank you!

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Bat Observation Report – Please follow instructions given. ~~



The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission participates in and supports monitoring of bat populations, including white nose syndrome surveillence, across the state. As a land manager we also work to protect bat populations using caves on AGFC Wildlife Management Areas.

If you see bats with signs of WNS in winter, contact Blake Sasse at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, (877) 470-3650.



Use the Public Bat Sightings Form (Word Form / PDF) to report your observations. A digital photograph or cell phone photo of the bat(s) is extremely helpful. Photos may be sent with the Bat Sighting Form or e-mailed to

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If you find a dead bat(s), please do not discard it. The Wildlife Division may be interested in the carcass. Save the carcass by double bagging it (WEAR GLOVES!) and placing it on ice or in a freezer. Contact the Bat Program at the Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods Office for additional information (860-675-8130; NEVER touch a live bat. Bats will bite to protect themselves!







Bat Observation Report ~~

Georgia data collection instructions ~~

If you see unusual bats on the landscape or have a WNS-suspect bat to send in for testing, you can also report it by sending an e-mail to



Bat Observation Report  ~~



If you believe that you have come across a bat afflicted with WNS in the State of Illinois, please document your location and obtain a clear digital photo and then contact  the IDNR immediately at:

Joseph A. Kath
Endangered Species Manager
Illinois DNR – Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, Illinois   62702-1271
Office Phone:  (217) 785-8764



To report unusual bat behavior or deaths that you observe during winter or early spring (especially bats flying during the daytime, bats with difficulty flying, or large numbers of dead bats near cave or mine openings), contact the Iowa DNR;


Kentucky ???



Bat Observation Report ~~



Report sick or dead bats ~~



Report Sick Bats ~~
Vermont – Report Bat Colony ~~



Bat Observation Report ~~


Additional contacts

Report WNS observations to your state conservation agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the The USGS National Wildlife Health Center, at 608-270-2400.


To request diagnostic services or report wildlife mortality, please contact the NWHC at 608-270-2480 or by email at, and a field epidemiologist will be available to discuss the case.


To report wildlife mortality events in Hawaii or Pacific Island territories, please contact the Honolulu Field Station at 808-792-9520 or email Thierry Work at Further information can be found at


Wildlife Mortality Reporting and Diagnostic Submission Request Form




N.a. “.” 13 May 2016. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “USGS National Wildlife Health Center – White-Nose Syndrome (WNS).” n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “White-nose syndrome: Questions and Answers.” 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “Pseudogymnoascus destructans.” n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “Scientists identify tissue-degrading enzyme in white-nose syndrome.” n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “White-Nose Syndrome of Bats in Washington Fact Sheet | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.” n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


N.a. “.” 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


Gregory B. Hladky. “Connecticut Wildlife Officials Ask Public’s Help For Bats.” 29 Oct. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <>


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