Florida Fish And Wildlife: Biologists Capture Bats, Check Signs of White-Nose Syndrome

By  //  January 13, 2016

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florida still free of the fungal infection

Biologists follow national decontamination protocols and wear a fresh pair of gloves while handling each bat to prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome. (MyFWC image)

Biologists follow national decontamination protocols and wear a fresh pair of gloves while handling each bat to prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome. (MyFWC image)

It was a great night to catch bats.

Biologists strung nets up at a conservation area to find out what species were flying this time of year.

All the bats captured were weighed, measured and checked for signs of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that affects cave-hibernating bats throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada.

WNS has been detected as far south as Georgia and Alabama, but fortunately Florida is still free of the disease.

After the bats were examined, they were released to continue their search for insects.

Biologists check for wing damage on each bat. Damage could indicate signs of white-nose syndrome. This fungal disease hasn’t been detected in Florida yet and bat biologists want to keep it that way.

Did you know a single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes each night?

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Florida has 13 native bat species which play a major role in reducing agricultural pests and controlling mosquitoes that can carry human disease.

The value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated at between $4 billion to $50 billion a year.

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After being processed, each bat is released. Did you know a single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes each night? Florida has 13 native bat species which play a major role in reducing agricultural pests and controlling mosquitoes that can carry human disease. The value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated at between $4 billion to $50 billion a year. (MyFWC image)

After being processed, each bat is released. Did you know a single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes each night? Florida has 13 native bat species which play a major role in reducing agricultural pests and controlling mosquitoes that can carry human disease. The value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated at between $4 billion to $50 billion a year. (MyFWC image)

Biologist Kevin Oxenrider checks a bat.

Biologist Kevin Oxenrider checks a bat.

Left: First, biologists have to catch some bats! Poles are set up to stretch nets across a creek in Newnan’s Lake Conservation Area near Gainesville, a commonly used flight corridor for bats. The nets are opened after sunset. Right: The net is very fine. When the bats are caught, biologists gently remove them. (MyFWC image)

Left: First, biologists have to catch some bats! Poles are set up to stretch nets across a creek in Newnan’s Lake Conservation Area near Gainesville, a commonly used flight corridor for bats. The nets are opened after sunset. Right: The net is very fine. When the bats are caught, biologists gently remove them. (MyFWC image)

Biologists check for wing damage on each bat. Damage could indicate signs of white-nose syndrome. This fungal disease hasn't been detected in Florida yet and bat biologists want to keep it that way. (MyFWC image)

Biologists check for wing damage on each bat. Damage could indicate signs of white-nose syndrome. This fungal disease hasn’t been detected in Florida yet and bat biologists want to keep it that way. (MyFWC image)


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