Since first discovered in 2007 in New York, white-nose syndrome has spread to 16 states, including Virginia and Maryland, and four Canadian provinces. The disease is estimated to have killed over five million hibernating bats. An outbreak of infectious disease among bats on the order of white-nose syndrome is without precedent, and although insect-feeding wild bats may lack the easily defined monetary value of domestic animals, a recent analysis showed that they provide natural pest control services to American farmers valued at approximately $23 billion per year. Dr. David Blehert discusses this emergent wildlife disease and the profound impacts white-nose syndrome may have in the 21st century.
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