Over one million bats, including rare and endangered species, have succumbed to white-nose syndrome, a disease first observed in 2007 in Upstate New York. This lethal disease is caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which continues to spread eastward across the United States. Assessing the distribution of G. destructans in environments occupied by hibernating bats is critical for WNS surveillance and management. NRS scientists Daniel Lindner and Jessie Glaeser are collaborating with the USGS Wildlife Health Laboratory in Madison, WI, to characterize the distribution of G. destructans in cave sediment samples from bat hibernation sites in the eastern United States. They are using molecular identification techniques that Lindner helped to develop. The fungus was found in cave sediment samples from states where WNS is known to occur, suggesting that the fungus can persist in the environment, but was not found in caves outside the region of known infestations; Closely related fungi, some previously unknown to science, were also found. Bat biologists are using this research to devise strategies to save these animals from extinction.