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Bat Conservation in Georgia

WNS Winter Monitoring and Surveillance

We are urging cavers and others in the outdoors to be on the lookout for bats infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS) this winter. Follow the instructions below to help the Georgia DNR with WNS monitoring and surveillance.

What to Report:

It is not unusual to see bats flying during the winter months. They may emerge during warmer periods at night to eat, drink or just stretch their wings. However, bats infected with WNS have been seen flying outside during the day during very cold periods in the winter. You may also find dead bats on the landscape that are infected with WNS. Signs of WNS include white, fuzzy growth on the muzzle and wings and possible deterioration of the wing membranes. See the pictures below for examples.

If you see unusual bats on the landscape or have a WNS-suspect bat to send in for testing, please report it by sending an e-mail to GADNRBats@dnr.ga.gov

If you collect WNS suspect bats, always use gloves and place bats in double ziploc bags. Put the bat in the refrigerator as soon as possible and follow the instructions on the form below for submission to the lab for testing.

Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study

Information for Cavers:

We need your help! If you have received sampling kits, please follow the instructions below when visiting caves.

If you are visiting caves in Georgia and you have not received swabs for sampling, we would still like you to submit information to Georgia DNR.* We are collecting data on caves with and without bats. Below are links to a field form for WNS monitoring, an Excel file for submitting monitoring data and an instruction sheet.

And remember, if you are visiting caves PLEASE FOLLOW CLEAN CAVING PROTOCOLS! Help protect Georgia’s bats!

WNS Education Information:

Georgia DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed some education materials for WNS. If you are interested in any educational information or if you would like to request a WNS presentation from DNR for your grotto or group, please e-mail GADNRBats@dnr.ga.gov.

*Such data submitted to Georgia DNR is not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Nongame Conservation Section of DNR is responsible for protecting sensitive data and any cave location data submitted will be treated accordingly.


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