WNS in Ohio

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WNS in Ohio

Postby wvdirtboy » Feb 25, 2013 7:38 pm

Hasn't been much news about WNS in Ohio, but here is an email I sent Rich Geboy of the FWS:

Hi. My son showed me a little brown bat with WNS on Sunday, 24 February 2013 at Hocking Hills Mennonite Church outside of Logan, OH (lat/long: 39.506556, -82.313279). The church is in Hocking County.

The bat was hanging on a brick wall under an eave. Its wings have many, many white fungal splotches. The nose had very short, but white
filaments attached. I am not sure the bat was alive because its eyes appeared open, but it never moved its head as bats do when disturbed in a cave. It was about eight feet up, so I am not certain about the eyes being open. I will look for it again before church on Wednesday.

I am a caver and have been on bat counts, so I am pretty confident about the species. Sad to see though.

[An update: My youngest son attends school at the church and reports a classmate "poked" the bat with a stick today. The bat did not respond in any way and they assumed it is dead.]
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Re: WNS in Ohio

Postby PYoungbaer » Feb 25, 2013 9:42 pm

wvdirtboy,

Sounds very much like a dead bat with WNS. In addition to Rich, you might also contact Ohio Division of Wildlife Research Biologist Jennifer Norris (jennifer.norris@dnr.state.oh.us, 614-265-6349).
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Re: WNS in Ohio

Postby wyandottecaver » Feb 26, 2013 7:43 pm

Certainly very suspect.

Just as a word of caution, white fungus can mean things besides WNS as was famously demonstrated on the Hoosier a few years ago. Indeed I have seen dead bats literally encased in white fungus long before WNS was a term, and with the relatively mild winters wouldn't rule that out.

It certainly could be WNS...or not...which is why lab results are so important....unless your in OK :tonguecheek:
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: WNS in Ohio

Postby GroundquestMSA » Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:Certainly very suspect.

Just as a word of caution, white fungus can mean things besides WNS as was famously demonstrated on the Hoosier a few years ago. Indeed I have seen dead bats literally encased in white fungus long before WNS was a term, and with the relatively mild winters wouldn't rule that out.

It certainly could be WNS...or not...which is why lab results are so important....unless your in OK :tonguecheek:


That's what I was thinking too, based only on observation and not on any knowledge of WNS. I'm sure the same fungi are common in a widespread area, and that most cavers have seen them. I've seen white fungus growing on many dead animals and animal waste in Ohio caves. Short white fuzz seems to be the most common, with occasional bizzare white, black or red filaments of various lengths and thicknesses.
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