I enjoyed reading Mike Youds' story about the bat program put on by Doug Burles. Please note that the statement "Known as White Nose Syndrome, the fungus is especially hard on spotted bats" is incorrect.
White-nose syndrome is not known to affect spotted bats. If you take a look at the range of where white-nose syndrome has been found and the range of the spotted bat, they do not intersect. To see which bats have been affected by white-nose syndrome, see https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/about/bats-affected-wns. Technically, white-nose syndrome refers to the disease, which is caused by a fungus named Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd).
Although white-nose syndrome is eventually expected to spread to B.C., when that will happen is unknown. The tagline, "Fatal fungus expected to arrive in B.C. by 2018" is not accurate. In the article Mr. Burles said that it could reach there by 2018 based on the discovery of white-nose syndrome in Washington.
So far, we do not know enough about white-nose syndrome in Washington or surrounding states and provinces to make predictions about further spread, but Mr. Burles is spot-on about raising awareness and getting people involved because in addition for increasing conservation measures for bats, there are precautions that people can take to reduce the chance of spreading Pd.
Again, thanks for your help in raising awareness about the benefits of bats and the challenges they face.
CATHERINE J. HIBBARD
Public Affairs Specialist: White-nose Syndrome
Public Information Officer, Type 1: Southern Area Red Incident Management Team