SEATTLE — A fungal infection responsible for killing off North American bat colonies has spread to a 12th species, here in Washington state.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says white-nose syndrome was detected this week in a western long-eared bat, found in King County. It’s the 30th case detected in Washington, but the first to involve that particular species. 

The infection spreads among bat colonies, often carried from one environment to another by human beings. It attacks the bats’ skin, damages their wings, and drains them of energy they need to survive when emerging from hibernation.

The disease has killed millions of bats in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces. Although it doesn’t pose any known threat to people or domestic animals, its damage to bat populations can have ecological consequences like a rise in insect pests.

Civilian bat sightings can help scientists study the problem. Report any unusual bat observations at

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013 

(1) comment


Nice post. Its yet another sensationalized attack on bats. The latest outrage is this nice article. Bat attacks on humans increasing due to urbanization and deforestation.

You unfortunately have been taken advantage of to needlessly frighten people about bats, a practice that is misdirecting public health funds from far more important threats. Even where vampire bats live in Brazil, no one who sleeps in a home with window screens or uses a mosquito net when camping is ever bitten by a vampire bat. The remedy is simple, the problem minuscule, facts that go unmentioned! The bats killed in response to such misleading scare stories are nearly always the more easily found highly beneficial species that protect crops from pests and keep whole ecosystems healthy. Most bats are insectivorous, and they are important to humans primarily for their predation on insects, for pollination, and for seed dispersal. Little is known of the spectrum of insect species consumed, but the sheer quantity is formidable...

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