Action: Treat bat hibernacula environments to reduce pathogen reservoir
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of treating hibernacula environments to reduce the white-nose syndrome pathogen reservoir on bat populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
The white-nose syndrome fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans can grow on a variety of substrates and can persist in hibernacula environments (such as caves and mines) for long periods without bats being present (e.g. Lorch et al. 2013). Bat hibernacula could be treated with environmental cleaning agents or bacterium treatments that inhibit fungal growth, to reduce the pathogen reservoir. However, these approaches have the potential to damage cave environments and other cave-dwelling species at some sites.
Lorch J.M., Muller L.K., Russell R.E., O'Connor M., Lindner D.L. & Blehert D.S. (2013) Distribution and environmental persistence of the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, Geomyces destructans, in bat hibernacula of the Eastern United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79, 1293–1301.