The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment on a coordinated national management plan to address white-nose syndrome, which is decimating bat species across the United States.
White-nose syndrome has killed more than a million bats in the Northeast and has spread to 11 or more states in less than four years since its discovery near Albany, N.Y. it has not been detected in North Carolina, but affected bats have been found in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The proposed plan, a joint federal-state effort, provides a framework for WNS investigation and response. A subsequent implementation plan will identify specific actions, the entities responsible for implementation of each action, and estimated costs.
“More than 50 agencies, organizations and individuals are working in concert on the white-nose syndrome response,” said WNS National Coordinator Jeremy Coleman, Ph.D., of the Service. “The national management plan will help guide our use of limited resources wisely and efficiently in addressing this urgent threat to bats and to our environment.”