White Nose Syndrome

WNS Bats Small
Bats with WNS

Go here: whitenosesyndrome.org for decontamination protocols and the latest news on WNS.

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is currently devastating bat populations in North America. First discovered in Schoharie County, New York in February 2006, the disease has caused the death of an estimated six million bats since then.

In order to combat the threat of westward expansion, the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto has partnered with the USDA Forest Service Northern Region, The Montana Natural Heritage Program, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to study bat habitat in our region. As a result, our members have volunteered thousands of hours to identify and survey bat habitat in caves, mines, bridges, and elsewhere. Dozens of dataloggers and ultrasonic detection devices have been placed around the region. This represents the most comprehensive study of bats in Montana ever conducted. Of course, we are hopeful that WNS stalls before reaching the west, but if it does, Montana cavers and our partners will be well-prepared!

Under no circumstances should gear from a WNS-affected area be used in a unaffected region.

Our partnership has resulted in the purchase of caving gear for use by out-0f-state cavers in order to reduce this possibility. Want to utilize our loaner gear? Use the “Contact Us” form at the bottom of the page.

NRMG members agree to:

1. Use safe caving practices
2. Utilize the current decontamination protocol
3. Report bat observations (or lack of) within 30 days

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