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Cave & Karst


White-nose Syndrome little brown bat with white nose

White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is decimating bat populations in the U.S. and Canada while they hibernate in caves and mines.  Scientists identified a previously unknown species of cold-loving fungus, Geomyces destructans, as the cause of WNS, and survey crews have found this fungus on bats in the United States as far west as Iowa and Missouri.  In order to protect bats, Forest Service regional offices are issuing restrictions and closure orders on entrance to caves and mines.  As of October 1, 2010, the Forest Service requires decontamination procedures for visitors to show caves and decontamination at all Forest Service abandoned mines and caves. For more detailed and timely information on this topic from federal and state agencies as well as stakeholders please visit:


Caves, bats, and WNS at Mammoth Cave hosted by National Park Service

White-nose syndrome website hosted by Fish and Wildlife Service

Web pages provided by the National Speleological Society