Bat Conservation International(BCI) announced today that early signs of the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) have been detected at one of the world’s premier bat conservation sites, Bracken Cave Preserve, home to up to 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats. The detection of the Pd fungus is part of a coordinated state-wide surveillance and monitoring effort of bat colonies across Texas to proactively spot signs of the fungus in critical bat habitats across the state.

Bat with White-Nose Syndrome/CDC

“We will not back down from this threat,” said Dr. Winifred Frick, BCI’s Chief Scientist. “We’ve been anticipating this problem for more than a decade and are poised to respond with the protective measures that our bats deserve. We are working closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as well as the White-nose Syndrome research community to continue to expand our efforts to understand what this means for bats in Texas, and to develop long-term solutions for protecting those species that are vulnerable to this terrible disease.”

The Pd fungus causes the disease White-nose Syndrome (WNS) that kills bats when they hibernate in winter. Across North America, WNS has killed millions of hibernating bats over the past decade, causing the most severe threat to bats on the continent.

Read more at Bat Conservation International