We at Get Bats Out do more than professional bat removal from your home or building. We endeavor to educate each and every client that we work with to stress the importance of bats to our environment and stop bats from being killed as often as possible. With the latest discovery of White Nose Syndrome striking Washington, that is more important than ever.
Here’s What You Oughta Know About WNS
In case you’ve been living under a rock, we’ll do a quick rundown of white nose syndrome.
- White Nose Syndrome was first discovered in the U.S. in New York in 2006
- It is believed to have originated in the caves of Europe but no one knows how it got to the U.S.
- Since 2006 it has killed over 6 million bats in 28 states and 5 Canadian provinces
- It has caused 2 species of bats to be listed on the endangered species list
- It is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructan
- The fungus grows on the noses, wings and ears of affected bats, giving them a white, fuzzy appearance.
- It spreads throughout bodily tissue, disrupting physiological processes, interrupting essential hibernation periods, and causing bats to waste away
- It can completely wipe out an entire bat colony
That’s it in a nutshell. To read more on the devastation that is White Nose Syndrome, please check out our other blogs on this very important subject.
Why White Nose Syndrome Striking Washington is a Very Big Deal
An immobilized little brown bat was found by hiker’s March 11, 2016 just east of Seattle. It was taken to a local animal shelter where it died two days later. The animal shelter sent it off for testing, which resulted in being positive for White Nose Syndrome.
David Blehert, branch chief of the USGS National Wildlife Health Center’s Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratories, called it “surprising and unusual.”
Until this new discovery in March, the westernmost reach of White Nose Syndrome had been in Nebraska, 1,300 miles from the site in North Bend, Washington.
“This is the first time, to our knowledge, that there has been a long-range jump of the fungus,” Blehert said.
Bat Conservation International describes White Nose Syndrome as the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in the past century.
We Should All Care About White Nose Syndrome Striking Washington Bats
We aren’t scientists at Get Bats Out. We are humane bat removal experts. We aren’t researching to find a cure for White Nose Syndrome and we don’t think you are either. There are, however, a few things we can all do to help fight the spread of White Nose Syndrome according to Bat Conservation International.
- Educate your friends and families about the benefits of bats and the threat of White Nose Syndrome.
- Encourage your state and federal legislators to allocate funding for efforts to understand and fight this devastating disease.
- Report unusual late-winter bat behavior (such as bats flying during the daytime) or unexplained bat deaths to your state wildlife agency.
- Adhere to state, federal and local cave advisories and closures to help prevent the transmission of WNS.
- When you enter caves, carefully follow decontamination protocols outlined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You’ll find updated protocols at http://www.fws.gov/northeast /wnsresearchmonitoring.html .
- Donate to Bat Conservation Internationals WNS Rapid Response Fund at www.batcon.org/wnsdonate.
Bats have been classified as what scientists call a “keystone species.” This means they are vitally important to the environment in which they live and if they disappear, the environment will suffer for it. This puts them in the same classification as bees, some bird species, and many other pollinators. We will all be better off helping to keep this species around rather than trying to exterminate them.
Your local bat removal expert,