News & Notes
Listen to Ed Heske (Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois) talk about bats and White Nose Syndrome on WILL am 580.
WNS was first confirmed in Illinois bats in 2013. See more information from USFWS.
Check out the US Fish & Wildlife's White-Nose Syndrome website for the latest on the national effort to deal with this disease.
Questions about our Illinois WNS research? Steve Taylor & Ed Heske (both Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute) are the primary contacts for information about the University of Illinois' WNS research.
White-Nose Syndrome Research at the University of Illinois
University of Illinois projects involving White-Nose Syndrome can be found here:
- WNS in Illinois: Continued Monitoring (sampling January-March of 2015 & 2016)
- Fungal & microbial communities before, during, and after the arrival of White Nose Syndrome in Illinois (sampling in February of 2012, 2013, and 2014)
- Bat Finder (Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at the University of Illinois)
White-Nose Syndrome of Bats in Illinois
White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a devastating disease of cave- and mine-hibernating bats, is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (formerly: Geomyces destructans). The disease was discovered in 2006 in New York state, and has since been spreading to encompass many of the important bat hibernacula of the northeastern United States. The disease has continued to spread, with recently confirmed WNS sites in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Bats roosting in a southern Illinois hibernaculum, February 2012. Photo by Steve Taylor / Prairie Research Institute.
Map of White-Nose Syndrome spread across North America
Illinois is now White-Nose positive, with several counties documented as having hibernacula infected.
WNS has been confirmed from fourteen Illinois counties.