Published Date: 2009-03-06 18:00:48
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> White-nose syndrome, bats - USA (04): (PA)
Archive Number: 20090306.0931
WHITE-NOSE SYNDROME, BATS - USA (04): (PENNSYLVANIA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 2 Mar 2009
Source: PRNewswire [edited]
<http://www.prnewswire.com> & search keyword bats
WNS Identified at 6 Sites in Pennsylvania
As Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologists continue to
monitor bat hibernacula [hibernation sites], the number of sites where
bats have been confirmed infected or dying from white nose syndrome
(WNS) has risen to 6. The sites are 2 abandoned mines near Carbondale,
Lackawanna County; an abandoned mine near Shickshinny, Luzerne County;
the abandoned Shindle Iron Mine; and Aitkin & Seawra Caves in Mifflin
"We continue to receive information from local residents, as well as
landowners with caves and old mine entrances on their properties,"
said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "We're asking
people who encounter 5 or more dead or dying bats in an area to
contact us, as we'd really like to know about these types of
incidents. However, we don't want people to go out of their way by
going in caves or mines or underground. Also, do not handle bats --
dead or alive -- and keep children and pets away from grounded bats.
Even though there currently are no known human health implications
associated with WNS, the Game Commission would prefer people not
handle any bats; we'll take care of all of that. We just need
residents to let us know if they find dead or dying bats."
There are 2 quick and easy ways to report sick-acting or dead bats
this winter . The 1st is by calling the nearest Game Commission
region office. The 2nd is by using the Game Commission's "Report Sick
Bats" form that can be accessed in the left-hand column of the
agency's homepage at <http://www.pgc.state.pa.us>.
One of the landowners who the agency is working with is The Nature
Conservancy, which owns the property on which Aitkin Cave is situated.
"Since WNS has now been identified in Aitkin Cave, it will remain
closed to the public, and we will continue to work with Game
Commission to monitor the situation of the bat population," said
Scott Bearer, Ph.D., Forest Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy.
"Our hope is that the bats will recover. However, the truth is we
could expect to see large numbers of bats dying in the next few weeks
at or near the entrance."
For more information, please see the Game Commission's "Report Sick
Bats" page in the left-hand column of the agency's homepage at
Healthmap Alerts via
[It would seem this situation is spreading more rapidly than
Pennsylvania had anticipated. This is sad news for all of us. Readers
are encouraged to see the moderator's comments on ProMED-mail post
20081102.3448. - Mod.TG]
[Does this mean that there was an index cold cave or mine last summer,
and that bats from there spread around the northeast by visiting each
other's roosts until winter set in? See image of roosting bats with