WNS Story Map

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WNS Story Map

Postby PYoungbaer » Dec 13, 2012 9:01 am

Cool Story Map of the spread of WNS done by NSS member Bern Szukalski, with assistance from PA Game Commission and BCI. Animation shows the confirmed and suspect counties through the winter of 2011-2012, with info about the disease and affected bat species.

http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2012/whitenose/
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby BrianC » Dec 14, 2012 10:34 am

I was amazed at the fast pace spread that is at the heart of this compilation! It was so fast, (how fast was it?) you might ask, It was so fast that in the last five (actually almost seven) years it spread nearly 300 feet a day, actually a little less. So fast that a turtle just barely beat it. Incredible ( must read) story almost fictional in pragmatism. Let everyone you know, (or don't know) know about this faced paced windy, I mean widely spread of a fungus, or what ever it is, Who really knows?. Just let everyone know!
:waving: :rofl: :shrug:
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby caverdan » Dec 14, 2012 10:44 am

Too bad someone can't remove Oklahoma from the map....in the name of bad science. :down: :down: :down:
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby PYoungbaer » Dec 14, 2012 12:55 pm

caverdan,

The Oklahoma bat (a single Myotis velifer) tested positive for the fungus, Geomyces destructans. I've seen the detailed lab report from the USGS lab. That's not bad science.

The lab also did not confirm WNS according to the official histopathology. Therefore, the map is correct.

I think the real issues with the Oklahoma bat aren't the science, but rather the response by many western land managers - both state and federal - considered by many to be over-reaction.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby Extremeophile » Dec 14, 2012 1:25 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:The Oklahoma bat (a single Myotis velifer) tested positive for the fungus, Geomyces destructans. I've seen the detailed lab report from the USGS lab. That's not bad science.

I share the same concerns as Dan. A single individual tests positive for the fungus and then the remains are destroyed so that no follow-up study is possible. There have been thorough widespread surveys across Oklahoma in the nearly 3 years since this single positive test without further confirmation. The test in question is the only positive test for that species, and its documented range has very little overlap with other affected species. All of this empirical evidence suggests that the test in Oklahoma was a false positive. Is there no way that what was detected is a similar but non-pathogenic strain of Geomyces? Is there no possibility of cross-contamination in the lab? Because of the knee-jerk reaction by western land managers, this single bat has had tremendous impact on policy making, and it would be good to know whether there is a scientific reason for discrediting these results.

Is there still a possibility that the Gd fungus is native/endemic (not sure of the correct term), and that turning the fungus into a pathogen is the result of a yet to be understood co-factor, or has that been disproved?
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby tncaver » Dec 14, 2012 6:20 pm

This whole WNS situation has become a huge power grab/control thing by our government wildlife agencies and their supporters. Just my humble opinion of course. But look at the evidence. It has taken YEARS for WNS to spread to states beyond the origin, yet cavers are blamed for spreading WNS. Cavers travel to other states to go caving in DAYS NOT YEARS, yet it has still taken YEARS for WNS to get to it's current limit. If cavers were spreading WNS, it would have arrived all over the country within a year or less, regardless of a gestation period. This observation is an example of LOGIC, good reasoning, INTELLIGENCE, levelheadedness, rationality, REASON, sound judgment, and WISDOM. All synonyms of COMMON SENSE. Washington seems to have very little of any of the above. Just my humble opinion of course. But how obvious can it be? BATS are spreading WNS, not cavers. Yet it is cavers who are being persecuted with cave closures.
Last edited by tncaver on Dec 17, 2012 8:46 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby caverdan » Dec 14, 2012 7:21 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:caverdan,

The Oklahoma bat (a single Myotis velifer) tested positive for the fungus, Geomyces destructans. I've seen the detailed lab report from the USGS lab. That's not bad science.
Please don't take this the wrong way, Peter, and I'm no scientist.....butt... when you destroy the evedance.....what do you have to back up that fancy report? How do you defend your findings on something as critical as this. That's bad science in my book.

PYoungbaer wrote:I think the real issues with the Oklahoma bat aren't the science, but rather the response by many western land managers - both state and federal - considered by many to be over-reaction.
I think we can all agree on this point. :wink:
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 17, 2012 6:02 pm

I have to agree, it was bad science. Destroying/losing a sample that is going to be highly important is bad science. As far as the map, at best, the OK case should be presumptive rather than confirmed since it is IMPOSSIBLE to confirm the result. People have claimed nuclear fission in a bottle after all.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby Extremeophile » Dec 18, 2012 12:58 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:As far as the map, at best, the OK case should be presumptive rather than confirmed since it is IMPOSSIBLE to confirm the result.

The Oklahoma finding has always been categorized as "suspected" and never "confirmed" since there was a positive test for Gd but none of the other signs of WNS. Since there have been no other positive tests in nearly 3 years I think there needs to be a new category of "doubtful". Peter has pointed out many times that many land managers, and the USFS in particular, don't distinguish between "suspected" and "confirmed" when it comes to policy making. Region 2 of the USFS put out a press release and FAQ when the original closure order was issued that was full of inaccuracies that exemplified their misunderstanding of the difference between 'suspected" and "confirmed". They have since reworded these communications, but it has not changed the general attitude that WNS is as far west as Oklahoma. The policy actions taken by the USFS are designed to reduce the risk of human transmission, not bat to bat transmission, but I think they fail to recognize that there are more cavers going back and forth between WV, KY, or TN and CO than there are cavers going back and forth between OK and CO. The irony is that some of us are doing more traveling to caves in the east than we would otherwise because access to caves here is restricted. I'm not trying to start a debate about the human transmission theory, I'm just pointing out some inconsistencies in the policy making.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby caverdan » Dec 18, 2012 9:25 pm

Extremeophile wrote:
wyandottecaver wrote:As far as the map, at best, the OK case should be presumptive rather than confirmed since it is IMPOSSIBLE to confirm the result.

I think there needs to be a new category of "doubtful".


Brilliant idea !!! :kewl: :exactly: :yeah that:
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby BrianC » Dec 19, 2012 1:40 pm

This all goes to show that when governmental funds are being harder to acquire, the environmental problems don't prevail nearly as often? Why? I bet you would like a full understanding, don't you? Well? Don't you? :big grin:
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 20, 2012 6:14 pm

Derek,

I was actually referring to the GD test, not the "suspected" for WNS. People and labs make mistakes. In science if you have a result that isn't repeatable or subject to peer review you don't really have a result, you have an opinion.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby PYoungbaer » Dec 20, 2012 7:12 pm

All,

Just for the record, back on Oct. 4, 2010, I posted this reply to cavergirl in the thread entitled, "Oklahoma Bat:"

Anne Ballman, of the USGS lab in Madison, Wisconsin, which did the analysis, provided more detail. Basically, while the bat showed fungal colonization on the skin of the bat, it showed no lesions (pathological invasion into the skin tissues). Further, it didn't show any of the tell-tale curved conidia. Ballman says that fungi can produce hyphae without conidia. Also, she said that there were other fungi on the bat, also not unusual, so that the colonization may not have been from the WNS fungus, or the conidia may have been inadvertently knocked off the bat during handling. So, no other clinical signs, but the Geomyces destructans fungus was confirmed by genetic sequencing, and the PCR was run with positive and negative controls.


I had inquired of Anne Ballman after reading the ProMed report of the findings, and specifically asked about the possibility of a false positive. The significance of running the PCR with both positive and negative controls eliminates the possibility. Thus, with G.d. confirmed genetically, but no histology, the Oklahoma site "earned" the USGS classification of "suspect," consistent with similar findings at other sites. Just for the record.
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Re: WNS Story Map

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 26, 2012 6:54 pm

Peter,

I'm not sure that is correct...i.e. running positive and negative controls eliminates the possibility of false positives/error. As I understand it, they are simply samples you know will give a positive (ex. previous confirmed) and a negative (ex. water) result. They are used to help validate the integrity of the process and sterility of reagents used...not verify the subject sample itself.

Thus, a subject sample that would show a false positive for another reason would still do so regardless of the controls. The controls just help narrow down the possible reasons you got a strange result.
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