Kentucky Confirms First Case of White-Nose Syndrome

April 14, 2011
Little Brown Bat with White-nose Syndrome

Photo by USFWS/Southeast

A little brown bat in south western Kentucky has tested positive for White-nose sydrome. When it was found exhibiting suspicious symptoms, it was taken to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia which was able to make the confirmation.

Biologists have been preparing for the arrival of WNS in Kentucky since it’s 2006 introduction in New York state. Now that it has arrived, new measures will have to be taken to manage the spread. As a first step, 60 highly suspect little brown and tri-colored bats were removed from the cave and euthanized, as they were not expected to survive.

The privately owned cave where the bat’s were found is located in Trigg County and is used as a hibernaculum by more than 2,000 bats of six different species including the endangered Indiana bat, and is a summer roost of the endangered gray bat.

During the winter, nearly 100 hibernacula were inspected. The re-inspection of the infected cave was prompted after the recent confirmation of WNS in Ohio due to it’s close proximity. Following the Kentucky confirmation, all caves within a 26 kilometer (16 mile) radius were inspected, however no additional infected sites have yet been found.

White-nose Syndrome Confirmed In Kentucky Bat [Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources]

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