White-nose syndrome is a disease that is killing hibernating bats in eastern North America. WNS was first documented at four sites in eastern New York 2007. After that, photographs taken in February 2006 were found, showing affected bats at another site. Named for the white fungus on the muzzles and wings of affected bats, WNS has rapidly spread to many sites throughout the eastern United States and into Canada. Researchers associate WNS with the newly identified fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which thrives in cold and humid conditions characteristic of caves and mines used by bats. Bats affected with WNS do not always have obvious fungal growth, but they may behave strangely within and outside of their hibernacula (caves and mines where bats hibernate during the winter).
Do not bring cave gear to Lava Beds National Monument that has been used in a place where WNS has been identified, even if that gear has been decontaminated.
Decontaminate your gear if it has been used in areas where WNS has not been identified.
Gear will not need to be decontaminated between cave visits here at the Medicine Lake Volcano, even if the caves you visit are outside the park.
Please go to whitenosesyndrome.org for the latest up to date recommendations for gear decontamination.