Habitat -Threatening Bat Illness a Topic at Cave Awareness Event

By KOLR10 News

Published 08/30 2014 03:15PM

Updated 08/30 2014 11:01PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- At Sequiota Park in Springfield experts shared information about white-nose syndrome to raise bat and cave awareness.

White-nose syndrome is a disease that kills bats and in turn affects natural insect control in the Ozarks.

In March 2012, the Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed Missouri's first fully developed case of a disease in bats that scientists have named white-nose syndrome.

The name describes a white fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes the disease and typically appears on the faces and wings of infected bats.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has shared these tips to help fight the disease:
Clean your clothes and gear between cave visits.

Report signs of the illness here:

Missouri Department of Conservation
660-785-2424, ext. 257

Do not handle any bats.
Contact the Missouri Conservation Dept. if you find recently dead bats with white, fuzzy, fungal growth or if you see bats flying during the daylight in winter.

Missouri has at least 12 resident species of bats in Missouri, and seven species are susceptible to the infection and it is not known to infect humans.

The fungus does not grow in warmer, drier conditions.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.