New Technique Detects WNS in Old Samples from Alabama’s Collier Cave

Tri-colored bat with visible WNS symptoms in Alabama's Fern Cave.

Tri-colored bat with visible WNS symptoms in Alabama’s Fern Cave. Photo by Darwin Brock

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced yesterday that white-nose syndrome has been found in bats at Collier Cave in north-western Alabama.

Swab samples taken at the cave in 2012 were re-checked in March 2013 using a more sensitive technique and this time the results from two bats, a federally endangered Gray Bat and a Tri-Colored bat, came back as positive.

Despite being positive for the disease, neither animal showed any visible symptoms there was no visible mortality at the site, and census numbers were similar to earlier years.

This occurrence marks the first reporting of white-nose in Lauderdale County and the farthest west the disease has been found in Alabama. This is the second TVA cave with positive findings of the fungus. It is likely that future monitoring efforts will reveal further spread of white-nose syndrome in the Tennessee Valley. Liz Burton, Tennessee Valley Authority Terrestrial Zoologist

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States that provides navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley. They serve over 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states, including most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

White-nose Syndrome Detected in TVA Cave in Alabama [Tennessee Valley Authority]

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