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KNAU and Arizona News

Bat Fungus Potentially Detected At Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon National Park officials say they’ve captured a bat that may have a fungus that leads to white-nose syndrome in the animals.

The bat was caught and sampled for the fungus last April during routine surveillance by park biologists.

Still, the fungus has not been absolutely confirmed at the national park.  The test results from NAU are considered inconclusive at this time.

The fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or “Pd”, is a fungus that causes white-nose disease that is a deadly disease for bats and can spread rapidly.   The bat did not show any signs of the fungus and the disease has not been detected in other bats at Grand Canyon.

Additional sampling of bats and bat guano in the park in June did not detect evidence of the fungus. It has not been detected in samples collected over past few years from bats at Grand Canyon National Park.

The park will increase surveillance for the disease this winter and spring.  Wildlife biologists say there are 22 species of bats at Grand Canyon.