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Silver haired bat found with Pd

PostPosted: Jan 15, 2014 3:42 pm
by bigredfoote
The USFWS has updated their list of Pd positive Bat species where no diagnostic sign of WNS has been documented to include silver haired bats (typically a tree roosting bat, but occasionally found in a cave). ... fected-wns

I haven't found any other published news yet.


Re: Silver haired bat found with Pd

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2014 1:36 pm
by driggs
The Silver-Haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) is a migratory tree bat that is known to occasionally and opportunistically utilize cave entrances, especially during particularly cold weather. It does not hibernate in caves, nor in clusters, nor is there any reason to believe that it is affected by White-Nose Syndrome.

Holly Niederriter of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife reported at the 2014 Northeast Bat Working Group that they had swabbed a LANO found near the entrance of -- if I recall correctly -- one of their many abandoned military bunkers, and it tested positive for P.d.

Given that P.d. is likely to be found on anything that remains in or visits a cave, should the USFWS add Neotoma magister, Procyon lotor, and Homo sapiens to that list as well?

Of course, given that LANO is a long-distance migratory bat, its occasional cave use could theoretically transmit P.d. spores across its range, perhaps as far as many 100's of km to 1500km.

However, given the novelty of this discovery, the audience at NEBWG generally gasped and/or laughed, as LANO is a tree bat, and most bat researchers will go their whole lives without ever encountering one in a cave.

On a related note, Mark Ford of Virginia Tech mentioned that tree-roosting Northern Long-Eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and their in-tree roosts were swabbed, and researchers found cave fungi in the roosting tree holes, and wood decomposing fungus on the bats. Perhaps bats also serve to spread these fungi from tree to tree.

Re: Silver haired bat found with Pd

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2014 9:10 am
by JonR
The silver-haired bat that tested positive for Pd was in a fort in Delaware. This was a PCR test from swabs and no tissue samples were analyzed, so there is no way of knowing if the fungus was simply on the bat, or growing there. Interestingly, the other LANO it was huddled with was also swabbed and did not come back positive for Pd.

The fort is commonly used by other bats and had previously been confirmed with WNS in those species. You bring up an excellent point about potential for LANO to transmit fungus long distances, and that is why this is an important bit of information to collect and track. The presence of Pd on this species also means (unsurprinsingly) they are exposed to the pathogen, which draws further management attention to this group of bats that has largely been considered less susceptible.

I don't know of a running list of non-bat species that have tested positive for Pd, although you have a good point that anything entering a hibernaculum has potential to pick it up.

Re: Silver haired bat found with Pd

PostPosted: Jan 26, 2014 2:03 pm
by wyandottecaver
I'm not sure if cave use/presence by silver-haired bats is best described as rare or infrequent. we caught a few during harp trap surveys at cave entrances. One basic piece of epidemiology that a certain agency seems to intentionally ignore, is that being exposed to something doesnt mean your susceptible, and just because something is present, doesn't mean it is able to initiate infection. The other basic piece of biology let alone common sense they seem to consistently ignore is that management based on speculation or the 1 in a million happenstance might help raise your profile among the clueless public, but doesn't make you more respected by people who actually know better.

IMHO Bat conservation has been set back 20 years by the relationships and trust they destroyed in 2.