Three new TN counties

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Three new TN counties

Postby Pippin » Apr 27, 2012 3:11 pm

So I was just wasting time on Facebook and noticed that FWS has posted a new map of WNS counties in Tennessee. Franklin, Cumberland, and Hancock counties are now affected. I have no idea what caves, what species, or if there's any mortality. Nobody "in the know" seems to feel it's necessary to actually share that information with anyone. If any of you know more about this, please share with the rest of us.
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby BrianC » Apr 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Pippin wrote:So I was just wasting time on Facebook and noticed that FWS has posted a new map of WNS counties in Tennessee. Franklin, Cumberland, and Hancock counties are now affected. I have no idea what caves, what species, or if there's any mortality. Nobody "in the know" seems to feel it's necessary to actually share that information with anyone. If any of you know more about this, please share with the rest of us.
Nashville- Franklin and Cumberland counties throw me as well?
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby steven.millett » Apr 28, 2012 7:26 am

From the rumors I heard weeks ago, the Franklin county siting was found right around the same time as the alabama case. Just a delay in TN's posting of the data. This makes it look like alot less of a "jump".
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby PYoungbaer » Apr 28, 2012 7:27 am

The copy that came with the latest map did not have a lot of information. The report says it was released by Cory Holliday, with permission of state wildlife officials, so maybe he can tell us more. As Tennessee is already a WNS state, it's unlikely they'll issue another news release. Here's all the info we got, except for a note saying more news is being compiled from Canada. Note that we are aware of other bats collected, and expect a few more reports this season.

Cumberland County, 3 little brown bats Confirmed from cave by SCWDS.

Franklin County, 3 tri-colored bats Confirmed from a cave by SCWDS.

Hancock County, 2 tri-colored bats Confirmed from a cave by SCWDS.

Here's the map:

Image Click Image to Enlarge
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby BrianC » Apr 29, 2012 5:54 pm

What is really funny, I was going to mention Cory as a link to the finding just for kicks because of his man made cave designed to use sick bats for research. It appears that he has found some bats for his cave, and hopefully none have escaped yet. :yikes:
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby cavergirl » May 2, 2012 12:18 pm

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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby PYoungbaer » May 2, 2012 12:29 pm

Here's the full press release. Nice to see some contextual details:

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park News Release
P. O. Box 2128
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
706-866-9241 - phone
http://www.nps.gov

News Release
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Park Contact: Cathleen Cook, Cathleen_Cook@nps.gov, 423-752-5213 x 115
Additional Contact: Ann Froschauer, Ann_Froschauer@fws.gov, (413) 253-8356; National
White-Nose Syndrome Communications Leader, US Fish and Wildlife Service

White-Nose Syndrome Found in Lookout Mountain Cave

Lookout Mountain, Tennessee: A biologist and volunteers working within the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park collected two tricolored bats in a park cave in Hamilton County, Tennessee, one of which tested positive for white-nose syndrome (WNS). The collected bats represent about 18% of the total number of bats observed in this park cave, and no dead bats were seen. The bats were sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, where the disease was confirmed by histopathology. White-nose syndrome is a disease caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans and is responsible for the recent death of millions of bats in eastern North America. It is named for the white fungus that forms primarily on the muzzle, ears, and wings of infected bats. While the cause of death is unknown, the disease causes bats to become restless during hibernation, moving throughout the cave and burning up fat reserves and potentially losing body water they need to survive the winter. There is no known cure for the disease.

Bats play an important role in natural ecosystems and actually provide services that benefit people, such as eating large amounts of insect pests. The fungus that causes WNS apparently does not pose a health risk to humans; however, park visitors are reminded to not handle bats as they are known to carry other diseases such as rabies. If you see a dead, sick or injured bat within the park, please notify the park at (423) 752-5213.

In 2009 all park caves were closed to the public in an attempt to reduce the chance of importation of the WNS pathogen. White-nose syndrome is transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but fungal spores may be inadvertently carried between caves by humans on clothing or gear. Park caves will remain closed indefinitely to minimize the risk of humans accidentally spreading the disease to other areas.

For more information about white-nose syndrome, visit: http://www.WhiteNoseSyndrome.org and
http://www.nature.nps.gov/biology/wildlifehealth/White_Nose_Syndrome.cfm

P.S. The survey team also visited two other nearby caves where bats showed no signs of WNS.
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby Pippin » May 2, 2012 4:23 pm

Sure would be nice to know about the other confirmed caves. I heard a rumor that one of the caves is six miles away from the site of this weekend's SERA Cave Carnival. Seems like agencies would kinda want cavers to know about a confirmed site so close to a big weekend event (if the rumor I heard is true).
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby rebelfirefighter » May 2, 2012 8:32 pm

21 miles as the crow flies from Russell Cave. WNS was found there I believe.
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby cavergirl » May 3, 2012 12:14 pm

Pippin wrote: Seems like agencies would kinda want cavers to know about a confirmed site so close to a big weekend event.

Government agencies simply want us to give up caving and stay out of caves.
Sadly this reminds me of other government policies like not teaching sex education in schools. Their theory is if you tell kids how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STD’ds the kids will want to experiment with sex. This does not work; teens are going to experiment with sex because they are biologically programmed to do so. It is better they be informed, to protect themselves and each other. And it seems cavers are biologically programmed to go caving. We are NOT going to give it up and the sooner the agencies wake up and start treating us like responsible adults, the better. Most cavers I know are trying to (at the very least) NOT be part of the problem. Most cavers I know decon; some to a greater, others to a lesser degree. Many, like myself, try to have sets of dedicated gear. Personally I don’t really want to go in a WNS + cave. Even if WNS is spread 99.99999% bat-to-bat, I don’t want to be the .000001% person who transfers a spore from cave A to cave B. Knowing WNS is in a county is fine, but it is often many weeks between when a sample is sent in and WNS is confirmed. Then no one says anything until the agency with jurisdiction makes a press release. By that time it is way too late. And no one is telling us which caves are affected. And they call this a “containment policy”?
Peter, have you tried to make the agencies you “liaison” with see this? What has been their response?
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby tncaver » May 3, 2012 3:38 pm

I find it ironic that WNS is being found mostly in caves that are closed. There is still a lot of caving going on in TN but very little spreading of WNS. The spread still seems just as slow as bat migration is from cave to cave rather than the rapid rate of cave visitation by cavers. This glaring fact is still
being ignored by the yahoos in charge of closing caves. :doh:
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby NZcaver » May 3, 2012 4:56 pm

tncaver wrote:I find it ironic that WNS is being found mostly in caves that are closed. There is still a lot of caving going on in TN but very little spreading of WNS. The spread still seems just as slow as bat migration is from cave to cave rather than the rapid rate of cave visitation by cavers.

I wonder if the vast myriad of relatively harmless random spores tracked in and out of caves by humans might help to counteract the GD spores bats carry in?

Meh, just another wild-ass theory which would be difficult to prove. :shrug:
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby tncaver » May 3, 2012 5:26 pm

NZcaver wrote:
tncaver wrote:I find it ironic that WNS is being found mostly in caves that are closed. There is still a lot of caving going on in TN but very little spreading of WNS. The spread still seems just as slow as bat migration is from cave to cave rather than the rapid rate of cave visitation by cavers.

I wonder if the vast myriad of relatively harmless random spores tracked in and out of caves by humans might help to counteract the GD spores bats carry in?

Meh, just another wild-ass theory which would be difficult to prove. :shrug:


It does seem odd that the most cases of WNS seem to be in caves that are closed, and/or are being checked by bat biologists. VERY ODD. :roll:
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby BrianC » May 4, 2012 8:50 am

tncaver wrote:
NZcaver wrote:
tncaver wrote:I find it ironic that WNS is being found mostly in caves that are closed. There is still a lot of caving going on in TN but very little spreading of WNS. The spread still seems just as slow as bat migration is from cave to cave rather than the rapid rate of cave visitation by cavers.

I wonder if the vast myriad of relatively harmless random spores tracked in and out of caves by humans might help to counteract the GD spores bats carry in?

Meh, just another wild-ass theory which would be difficult to prove. :shrug:


It does seem odd that the most cases of WNS seem to be in caves that are closed, and/or are being checked by bat biologists. VERY ODD. :roll:


Not odd at all, if someone wants to find WNS, then all they need to do is find them where they are looking! Having some on hand (or foot as has been speculated) is very handy! :rofl:
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Re: Three new TN counties

Postby spelunger » May 6, 2012 8:03 am

There are certain gated underground locations never visited by cavers since the advent of WNS. Mines are the most guarded. yet WNS is being found there. An obvious conclusion can follow the biologists who visit a wide range of mines and caves are the ones who are spreading WNS. It would be interesting to do a study of the outlier caves such as those in western Oklahoma with WNS and see who visited them and caves back East.
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