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Current Status of the Research and Management of Bat White-Nose Syndrome Jeremy T. H. Coleman National WNS Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast.

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Presentation on theme: "Current Status of the Research and Management of Bat White-Nose Syndrome Jeremy T. H. Coleman National WNS Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast."— Presentation transcript:

1 Current Status of the Research and Management of Bat White-Nose Syndrome Jeremy T. H. Coleman National WNS Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region Biologists Conference Baltimore, Maryland, 17 February, 2011 WNS

2 WNS presents a novel disease and resource management problemWNS presents a novel disease and resource management problem Managing WNS poses considerable biological and social challenges, with complex coordination needsManaging WNS poses considerable biological and social challenges, with complex coordination needs Over 100 agencies, NGOs, and universities involvedOver 100 agencies, NGOs, and universities involved A National Plan has been developed to build on accomplishments to date and enhance coordinationA National Plan has been developed to build on accomplishments to date and enhance coordination WNS – An Unprecedented Crisis

3 What is White-Nose Syndrome? Jonathan Reichard Alan Hicks Carol Meteyer David Blehert Alan Hicks USFWS

4 Bat Species in the U.S. & Canada Source: Paul Cryan, USGS

5 state, 5 hibernacula

6 states, 42 known hibernacula

7 2009 – 9 states, 88 known hibernacula Approx. 900 km

8 June 2010: 13 States, 2 Provinces, 160+ affected sites Select non-cave locs. Southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius) Cave bat (Myotis velifer) Gray bat (Myotis grisescens) Approx km

9 Feb. 2011: 16 States, 2 Provinces, 160+ affected sites Select non-cave locs. Indiana North Carolina 2011

10 Graphite Mine, NY – April 2009 Photo and data: Alan Hicks, NYSDEC Little brown myotis 183,5422,049 Northern myotis Indiana myotis Tri-colored bat E. small-footed myotis Big brown bat

11 New York Sites - Complete Counts 16,134 10, / Year Count Count Hailes Cave Williams Lake Schoharie Cavern Knox Cave Gages Cave Howe's Cave Friends Lake Source of data: A. Hicks, NYSDEC

12 Simulations of Extinction for Myotis lucifigus Frick, Reynolds, Pollock, and Kunz

13 What We Know About WNS Over 95% mortality at many affected hibernacula Over 95% mortality at many affected hibernacula 6 cave bat species affected, w/ fungus detected on 3 additional 6 cave bat species affected, w/ fungus detected on 3 additional Susceptibility may differ by bat species or with microclimate Susceptibility may differ by bat species or with microclimate Specific fungal infection is common to affected sites and defines the disease Specific fungal infection is common to affected sites and defines the disease Still no evidence of bacterial, viral, or parasitic cause Still no evidence of bacterial, viral, or parasitic cause The fungus can persist in caves in the absence of bats The fungus can persist in caves in the absence of bats Bats can become infected from an affected environment Bats can become infected from an affected environment

14 A newly described fungal species A newly described fungal species Optimal growth at 5-14° C Optimal growth at 5-14° C What We Know About WNS Fungus: Geomyces destructans Photo by D. Berndt, NWHC

15 A newly described fungal species A newly described fungal species Optimal growth at 5-14° C Optimal growth at 5-14° C Invades skin tissue of hibernating bats Invades skin tissue of hibernating bats Genetically similar fungal isolates found Genetically similar fungal isolates found at multiple affected hibernacula in the U.S. (also sediment) at multiple affected hibernacula in the U.S. (also sediment) Bat-to-bat transmission has been demonstrated – NWHC Bat-to-bat transmission has been demonstrated – NWHC Conidia (spores) have been found sticking to exposed gear Conidia (spores) have been found sticking to exposed gear Genome has been sequenced Genome has been sequenced - Broad Institute, NWHC G. destructans has been found on European bats G. destructans has been found on European bats What We Know About WNS Fungus: Geomyces destructans Photo by D. Berndt, NWHC

16 WNS: A European Connection? Rene Guttinger Hungary Tamas Gorfol Switzerland Netherlands Anne Jifke-Haarsma

17 Disease transmission Disease transmission Cause of mortality Cause of mortality Treatment and control Treatment and control Diagnostics and surveillance Diagnostics and surveillance Etiology and persistence of Gd Etiology and persistence of Gd Conservation Conservation Population monitoring Population monitoring General Research Priorities

18 Currently Funded Research (partial) Immune response of hibernating bats & post-exposure Immune response of hibernating bats & post-exposure Behavior and physiology of hibernation Behavior and physiology of hibernation Population-level impacts (local and range-wide) Population-level impacts (local and range-wide) Contaminants – pesticides and environmental Contaminants – pesticides and environmental Genetics – predisposition, post-exposure, & fungal Genetics – predisposition, post-exposure, & fungal Disinfection/Decontamination & Gd in the environment Disinfection/Decontamination & Gd in the environment Prospects for captive management Prospects for captive management Dynamics of transmission Dynamics of transmission Epidemiological modeling Epidemiological modeling Improving detection of Gd on bats & in environment Improving detection of Gd on bats & in environment Susceptibility & potential for resistance Susceptibility & potential for resistance

19 Antifungal Treatments Some success in the lab Some success in the lab Limited field trials have not been successful Limited field trials have not been successful Two projects funded by Comp SWG states Two projects funded by Comp SWG states

20 Some Accomplishments in Managing WNS WNS investigation team and partnerships WNS investigation team and partnerships Coordination structure and Task Groups established in 2008 Coordination structure and Task Groups established in 2008 FWS webpage: FWS webpage: Research support and coordination (RFPs) Research support and coordination (RFPs) State support (SWGs and small grants) State support (SWGs and small grants) Guidance: Guidance: - Containment - Containment - Structured Decision Making (SDM) initiatives - White papers: rehabilitation, surveillance-monitoring, genetics,... - State plan template National and state planning National and state planning

21 RegionCoordinatorLocation NationalJeremy ColemanCortland - Hadley Nat’l Asst.TBDHadley, MA Nat’l Comm.Ann FroschauerHadley, MA 1Guppy BlairAhsahka, ID 2Paul BarrettAlbuquerque, NM 3Richard GeboyBloomington, IN 4Mike ArmstrongFrankfort, KY 5Alison WhitlockHadley, MA 6TBD 8Larry RabinSacramento, CA NWRS R9Donita CotterArlington, VA

22 Management Focusing on Containment Decontamination Protocols - recently updated, Jan 2011 (http://www.fws.gov/WhiteNoseSyndrome/pdf/WNS DecontaminationProtocol_v pdf) - Decontamination Protocol Committee Cave Advisory – March, 2009 Due to threat of human transmission, USFWS recommends that people stay out of caves and abandoned mines and not transport caving gear. - Currently under revision

23 Fall 2009, FWS funded VBEB project Fall 2009, FWS funded VBEB project February 2010, FWS formed a captive management workgroup to investigate the potential for ex-situ actions February 2010, FWS formed a captive management workgroup to investigate the potential for ex-situ actions Short-term holding Short-term holding Full propagation Full propagation Cryopreservation Cryopreservation July 2010, St. Louis workshop July 2010, St. Louis workshop SDM project SDM project Captive Management Jeff Hajenga, WVDNR

24 Status of State Response/Recovery Plans In development Near completion Complete

25 WNS National Plan Purpose: To guide the response of Federal, State, and Tribal agencies, and partners to WNS Multi-agency input: USFWS, USGS, NPS, USFS, DOD, APHIS, BLM, AFWA & States, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Establishes an organizational structure with oversight up to the Washington level Formally establishes 7 working groups: 1. Communications 2. Data and Technical Information Management 3. Diagnostics 4. Disease Management 5. Etiological and Epidemiological Research 6. Disease Surveillance 7. Conservation and Recovery

26 Two stages: Two stages: 1. National Plan - The framework - not prescriptive - A static document 2. Implementation Plan - Identifies players & costs - Provides guidance - An adaptive plan, web based WNS National Plan

27 DRAFT WNS Organization Structure (v.7.5)

28 Petitions Listing Petitions: January 2010, CBD petitioned to list: January 2010, CBD petitioned to list: - Eastern small-footed bat - Northern long-eared bat December 2010, request for status review: December 2010, request for status review: - Little brown bat CBD Cave Petition: January 2010 January Feds to close all caves - Transfer of materials to be considered “Take”

29 Acknowledgments Thanks to the great many people who are working on WNS, including State and Federal Agents, NGOs, Researchers, and Private Partners Special Thanks to the WNS Coordinators and extended FWS WNS team Contributors to this talk: Paul Cryan, Alan Hicks, Andy Lowell, & Rob Tawes

30 14 hibernating species of bats occur only west of Great Plains Paul Cryan


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