ODFW launches bat reporting website
With the recent confirmation of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in a little brown bat in Washington state, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) activated a bat reporting website.
Anyone finding a dead bat or who observes bats flying during the day or during freezing weather should report this via the online site or call the ODFW Wildlife Health Hotline at 866-968-2600.
ODFW veterinarian Colin Gillin said WNS is a fungal disease occurring in hibernating bats that has killed more than six million bats since 2006 when it was discovered in New York.
This disease quickly spread to 28 states and five Canadian provinces. Eastern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska were the farthest west that WNS was detected before it made an apparent 1,300-mile geographic leap to Washington.
WNS could potentially transmit to Oregon Conservation Strategy Species, and it could decimate populations of common bat species, putting them in conservation concern, officials said.
The USFWS leads a national WNS response effort, working with state and federal partners to survey for the disease.
Cave surveys by ODFW and federal partners over the last two years show no evidence presently of WNS in Oregons bat population. ODFW will continue intensive surveillance, education and outreach to help protect this impor-
tant group of animals in Oregon.
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