Bat biologists from throughout the Northeast are evaluating strategies to monitor the presence of the disease and the need to collect specimens for laboratory analyses. Biologists are being very cautious, however, that they do not spread the disease in the process.
Bat populations are particularly vulnerable during hibernation as they congregate in large numbers in isolated caves, making them susceptible to disturbance or disease. Because these bats then migrate as far as hundreds of miles to their summer range, impacts to hibernating bats can have significant implications for bats throughout the Northeast.
Bats from a cave in Dorset have been documented traveling as far as Rhode Island and Cape Cod.
Individuals should not handle bats. If you come across live or dead bats with white-nose syndrome, contact your state wildlife agency.