DNR: Fungus Dangerous To Bats Confirmed At 2 MN State Parks

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A fungus that has been linked to bat colony decimation has been confirmed in two Minnesota State Parks, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The fungus is known to cause white-nose syndrome (WNS), which is a disease that is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, the DNR said. The fungus has reportedly decimated bat populations in eastern portions of the United States and Canada.

The DNR said the fungus was detected at Soudan Underground Mine State Park and Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

Only a few bats have tested positive for the fungus so far, but the discovery has serious implications. If the Minnesota goes the way of other states, the disease is likely to be present in Minnesota bats in two to three years.

“This is bad news for an important mammal in our ecosystem,” said Steve Hirsch, director of the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources Division, which oversees the agency’s nongame wildlife program. “We’re prepared with special protocols to help keep the fungus from spreading.”

Minnesota has seven species of bats, four of which hibernate during the winter, which makes them more likely to contract the disease.

Click here for more information on white-nose syndrome.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

The Leaderboard
Good Question

Listen Live