Bat Con
Bat Con campaign leader

Deadly Bat Disease Spreads to South Carolina and Georgia

Officials announced today that White-nose Syndrome
(WNS), the devastating wildlife disease that has killed more than 5.7 million
bats in eastern North America, has reached South Carolina and Georgia. WNS,
which first appeared in upstate New York in 2006, is now attacking bat
populations in 22 states and 5 Canadian provinces.

In South Carolina, the disease was confirmed in a
tri-colored bat found at Table Rock State Park in northern Pickens County.
Georgia, joining Alabama as one of the southern-most states with WNS, confirmed
the disease in two sites:  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
Park and Cloudland Canyon State Park.  Tri-colored bats at both sites
tested positive for WNS.   

Scientists had hoped that there might be a southern limit
to the distribution of this disease, perhaps due to climatic or geographical
conditions. Unfortunately, the confirmation of South Carolina and Georgia
suggests that southern states are not immune to WNS. The disease has continued
to move south and west this year. Fatality rates, some approaching 100 percent,
continue unabated at infected sites, even as scientists and conservationists
around the continent are searching desperately for solutions.

to comment