In the winter of 2006-07, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found approximately 10,000 bats of the genus Myotis (little brown bats, M. lucifugus, and Indiana bats, M. sodalis) dead and dying in four caves in New York. Since 2006, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed millions of bats in eastern North America, including several Myotis species, Perimyotis subflavus (Tri-colored bat), and Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat).
In March 2011, the first Ohio case of WNS was confirmed in an abandoned mine in Lawrence County, Ohio. Several counties in Ohio have been confirmed as WNS positive, including Lawrence County in 2011, 5 counties were added in 2012 (Geauga, Summit, Cuyahoga, Portage, and Preble), and 10 counties added in 2013 (Medina, Jefferson, Union, Wayne, Ashland, Athens, Clinton, Madison, Warren, and Sandusky).
Updates on WNS in the State of Washington:
- Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources/Division of Wildlife immediately if you suspect you have seen bats with this WNS condition in Ohio. Learn who to contact in one's owns state: https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/
- Do not handle live bats. Contact: 1-800-WILDLIFE Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Report the bat or the groups of bats that you suspect with WNS. This information will help others understand our bat populations and White-Nose Syndrome.
- Do not spread White-Nose Syndrome and limit disturbance to roosting bats. Avoid entering areas where bats may be living to limit the potential of transmitting the fungus that causes the disease and disturbing vulnerable bats. Do not allow dogs to access areas where bats may be roosting or overwintering as they may act as carriers of the fungus to new sites.
Clean your clothing and gear if you come into contact with crevices in rock cliffs, talus areas, caves or mines. When possible use the decontamination guidelines at www.whitenosesyndrome.org.
- Improve bat habitats. Reduce lighting around your home, minimize tree clearing, and protect streams and wetlands. Try to incorporate one or more snags into your landscape keeping old and damaged trees when possible. Snags provide important habitat for bats and other backyard wildlife. For more information on living with bats, and instructions for how to build a bat house, visit: ocvn.osu.edu/news/please-help-our-ohio-bats-make-ready-bat-friendly-houses-roosts-springsummer-occupancy
Bat houses benefit bats, you, your family, communities, farmers, gardeners
and the ecosystem as a whole.
- Bat houses provide bats a home. In turn, bats will eat thousands of insects.
- Bat houses give bats an alternative to our houses. Thus, reducing the chance of human-to-bat contact.
- Bat populations have decreased significantly (especially with White Nose Syndrome) and bat houses can help provide secure habitat.
Over 1,000 Species Worldwide
—45 species native to U. S.
—11 species in Ohio (2016)
—The only true flying mammal
—Primarily nocturnal, but most times can be seen flying about in the early evening (crepuscular)
and its devastating impact on North American Bats.
—Order Chiroptera =“hand wing”
—Megachiroptera =“large “bats: Found in tropics - —large fruit bats/flying foxes
—Microchiroptera =“small” bats: all bats in U.S.
—Varied diets and ID characteristics