The Nature Conservancy brings news of successful treatment of bats with white-nose syndrome, a fungus-caused condition that has devastated bat populations in America and Canada, including in Arkansas.
Last week, at the Mark Twain Cave Complex at Hannibal, Mo., scientists released 150 bats successfully treated in a trial using a common bacterium that appears to inhibit fungus growth.
The bats released Tuesday survived exposure to WNS in last winter’s trials. Participants at the bat release have expressed cautious optimism. “While more research is needed before we know if our current discovery in an effective and environmentally safe treatment for White-nose Syndrome, we are very encouraged,” said the U. S. Forest Service’s Michael T. Rains, who directs the Service’s Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory.
We’ve written several times about the syndrome’s presence in Arkansas. In March, the Game and Fish Commission said it had been confirmed in bat populations in four counties and was suspected in three others.