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Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:20

Learn about white-nose syndrome in bats

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Western North Carolina Alliance has put together a panel of experts to talk about white-nose syndrome, a disease that threatens our bat population.

The program will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the University of North Carolina in Asheville at the Humanities Lecture Hall.

The panel will discuss how white-nose syndrome is being treated, implications of the infestation and what it means to the rest of us. An audience question and answer will follow the panel discussion.

On hand will be Bill Stiver, a wildlife biologist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Chris Nicolay, an associate professor of biology at UNC Asheville; Dan Henry of the National Speleological Society an Flittermouse Grotto of Western North Carolina; Susan Loeb, a research ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Research Station; Ben Prater, associate director of Wild South; Gabrielle Graeter, a wildlife diversity biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission; and Sue Cameron, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The panel will be moderated by Susan Sachs, Education Coordinator at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

White-nose syndrome was recently identified in WNC’s bat population, the first appearances of the illness in this state. This disease is believed to be caused by a fungus, Geomyces destructans, which is estimated to have killed more than a million bats in the eastern United States between 2006 and 2010. The disease can kill up to 100 percent of bat colonies during hibernation and could result in the extinction of numerous bat species 828.258.8737 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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