National Geographic : 2010 Dec
0mi 200 0km 200 ONT. TENN. N.H. VT. N.Y. PA. MASS. N.J. VA. MD. W.VA. ME. R.I. DEL. N.C. S.C. GA. ALA. FLA. MICH. OHIO IND. KY. QUE. N.B. CONN. MO. OKLA. ILL. WIS. IOWA MINN. ARK. MISS. LA. TEX. N. DAK. NEBR. S. DAK. KANS. N.S. MAN. CANADA UNITED STATES Hubbard's Cave Hellhole Hailes Cave Howes Cave First signs of white-nose syndrome, February 16, 2006 40° 30°N 80°W 70° 200 miles from Howes Cave 1,000 mi 600 mi 1,400 mi ATLANTIC OCEAN Hibernation sites in the West are poorly known. Caves with bats affected by white-nose syndrome (WNS) WNS present Fungal DNA present (Presence of the fungus Geomyces destructans can lead to WNS.) Hibernation areas where bats are at risk. 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2009-10 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 WNS detected 1,092 1,361 50 69 256 70 1,229 Howes Cave population Big brown bat Tricolored bat Indiana bat Eastern small-footed bat Northern long-eared bat Little brown bat NORTH AMERICA MAPS: LISA R. RITTER, NGM STAFF; MAGGIE SMITH SOURCES: JEREMY COLEMAN, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE; BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL; USGS ART: DAVID BYGOTT. CHART: MARIEL FURLONG, NGM STAFF. SOURCES: ALAN HICKS, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION; KEVIN BERNER, STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT COBLESKILL SPREADING THREAT The precipitous decline of little brown bats in Howes Cave in New York State reflects the catastrophic effect of white-nose syndrome on hibernating species. Recent surveys indicate that the disease has spread far from there and much faster than anyone had expected. With no end in sight, extinctions are possible. Diseased species and their ranges Of the two dozen species that hibernate in caves, six have WNS, and the rest may be in jeopardy.