White-nose syndrome in hibernating bats has been detected in Texas

The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats has been detected on three species in the Texas counties of Childress, Collingsworth, Cottle, Hardeman, King and Scurry. The fungus was found in samples collected by a team from Texas A&M University's Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and wildlife and fisheries sciences department, along with Bat Conservation International. The tested samples showed the fungus was present on tri-colored, cave myotis and Townsend's big-eared bats. "White-nose syndrome, which is caused by the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus, has already caused catastrophic bat losses in the eastern U.S. and is projected to be in Texas within the next few years," said Melissa Meierhofer, a research associate at the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources in College Station. "The disease was first reported in New York 10 years ago and has been spreading to other bat populations at a distance of about 100 miles per year." Texas, with 32 bat species, has the greatest bat fauna diversity in the U.S., according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. To date, bats with white-nose syndrome disease symptoms have been found in 30 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. The fungus causing the disease has been discovered in three additional states as it makes its way across North America.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-disease-deadly.html#jCp