TWRA: Bat Population Declining Due to Syndrome

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The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commision held a meeting at the Westin Hotel in Chattanooga Thursday afternoon.

TWRA discussed the latest information and data on white nose syndrome.

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A deadly disease found in bats where cotton-ball like fungus grows on the unfurred skin of bats, most commonly the nose.

White nose syndrome was first observed in Tennessee in 2010, the fungus is found in cold, dark caves especially during the winter time.

John Campbell, biodiversity coordinator for region II says, “The estimated mortality is almost seven million bats in the eastern U.S. associated with white nose syndrome. Here in Tennessee all of our bats are insectivores, so they are going to have a huge impact to the number of insects that occur on the landscape and if you remove the bats from the ecosystem, then you’re gonna remove those ecosystem services, so you’re gonna see an influx of insects and so, the big concern is agricultural pests.”

According to Campbell, White nose syndrome has been found in over 11,000 documented caves over the state of Tennessee.

Reporting in Chattanooga, Bekah Birdsall, News 12 Now.