The deadly bat disease called white nose syndrome was found in Wisconsin earlier this year. That’s bad news for bats, but it hasn’t stopped the Department of Natural Resources from investing in bat monitoring efforts. In fact, biologists say collecting data on bats is more important than ever.
At nightfall on the end of a pier in Eagle River, DNR Biologist Paul White is standing with his arm outstretched, rubbing his fingers together.
Forest products industry leaders are voicing concern about a federal plan that could designate a bat species as endangered. The listing could restrict summer logging.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering an endangered species listing for the northern long-eared bat, due to dramatic population declines and the spread of a deadly disease called white nose syndrome. But protecting the species could cost the forest products industry.
Federal guidelines to protect the bat discourage some types of summer logging.
Biologists have found the first trace of a deadly bat disease in Wisconsin. Bats tested positive for white nose syndrome at a mine in southwestern Wisconsin.
The Grant County location where white nose was found…is within flying distance of an Illinois site where the syndrome turned up in 2012. Biologists are guessing a bat from that location carried the disease to Wisconsin.
White nose has also been found for the first time in several locations in the Upper Peninsula.
The Wisconsin DNR’s Paul White says it’s likely the disease will spread throughout the state.
Biologists are on the lookout for signs of a spreading fungus that could affect bats in Wisconsin.
Signs of the deadly white nose syndrome have been found in neighboring states and as close as 30 miles from the Wisconsin border, but haven’t yet appeared here.
DNR Conservation Biologist Paul White says preventative measures may have helped. All cave bats in Wisconsin are listed as threatened, and officials enforce decontamination procedures at public caving sites.