White-nose syndrome (WNS) was first documented in bats in New York in winter 2006-2007. The syndrome was named for the white fungus that sometimes develops on the muzzle of the bat, giving the appearance of a white nose. The syndrome was first discovered in Michigan in late winter 2014 in Alpena, Dickinson, Keweenaw, Mackinac and Ontonagon counties. Widespread die-offs of hibernating bats are expected in all of these counties, and potentially others, this winter.
WNS primarily affects bats during hibernation. Infected bats awaken prematurely from hibernation, deplete their fat reserves rapidly, and are unable to survive the winter. The public can help bat populations by staying out of mines and caves where bats hibernate.
The DNR asks that bat die-offs this winter be reported on the DNR website or by calling 517-336-5030. For more information on bats and white-nose syndrome, visit www.michigan.gov/wns and www.whitenosesyndrome.org.
Battle For Bats: Surviving White Nose Syndrome from Ravenswood Media on Vimeo.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.