[9/5/19] Bat White Nose Syndrome In Cle Elum
White-nose syndrome, an often-fatal disease of hibernating bats, has been confirmed for the first time east of the Cascade Range. Kittitas County is the fourth county in Washington affected by the disease, joining King, Pierce, and Lewis counties. The State Department of Fish and Wildlife received four dead bats from a landowner outside of Cle Elum this spring. Scientists use UV light to detect possible white-nose syndrome infections. Bats with white-nose syndrome usually have an orange glow on their wings. White-nose syndrome is harmful to hibernating bats, but does not affect humans, livestock, or other wildlife. In 2016, scientists first documented white-nose syndrome in Washington near North Bend in King County. Since then, Fish & Wildlife has confirmed 34 cases of the disease in three bat species in the state. First seen in North America in 2006 in eastern New York, white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats in eastern North America and has now spread to 33 states and seven Canadian provinces.