Natural Bat Bacteria Could Provide Cure for Killer Fungus

By Joshua Rapp Learn

Posted on April 9, 2015

Bat with white nose

A northern long-eared bat in Illinois shows the telltale signs of white-nose syndrome on its face. Image Credit: J.R. Hoyt.

A naturally occurring bacteria found on some bats could be the key to fighting a deadly fungal disease affecting the flying mammals around the world. “What’s promising is that the bacteria that can inhibit the fungus naturally occur on the skin of bats. These bacteria may just be at too low a level to have an effect on the disease, but augmenting them to higher abundances may provide a beneficial effect,” said Joseph Hoyt in a release. Continue reading

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USFWS Protects Northern Long-eared Bat as Threatened Species

April 2, 2015

The northern long-eared bat is one of the species of bats most impacted by the disease white-nose syndrome. Due to declines caused by white-nose syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, the northern long-eared bat will now receive protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The Service proposed the northern long-eared bat as endangered in October 2013.  During review of the threats, we determined the northern long-eared bat meets the Endangered Species Act’s definition of threatened. Under the Act, a threatened species is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future, while an endangered species is currently in danger of becoming extinct.

The listing becomes effective on May 4, 2015, 30 days after publication of the final listing determination in the Federal Register.

Also effective May 4 is an interim 4(d) rule that provides flexibility to landowners, land managers, government agencies and others as they conduct activities in northern long-eared bat habitat.  Given the significant number of comments received in response to the 4(d) rule as proposed on January 15, 2015, we also opened a 90-day comment and will accept further input on the interim rule through July 1, 2015.


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Iowa DNR wants to prevent spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer


“We have a spark here, and we want to put it out before it becomes a fire”

Orlan Love, The Gazette

February 17, 2015 | 9:29 pm

HARPERS FERRY — An unprecedented special deer hunt will likely be conducted near here in the coming weeks to gather tissue samples for additional testing for the always-fatal chronic wasting disease.

“We have a spark here, and we want to put it out before it becomes a fire,” Dale Garner, chief of the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau, told more than 100 people gathered here Tuesday in the community center.

A similar audience gathered for a second status report last night in Waukon.

Following the state’s first CWD-positive test in a wild deer in 2013, three more were confirmed during the recently concluded deer season — all within a 5-mile radius near Harpers Ferry.

Those three positives made up about 1 percent of the 309 samples collected within that area.

Garner said he believes the infected deer crossed the Mississippi River from Wisconsin, where more than 2,800 infected deer have been confirmed since 2001.

The disease is still spreading in Wisconsin, where biologists estimate that more than 35 percent of male whitetails and more than 18 percent of females are infected, according to Garner.

“Doing nothing is an option, but you know what’s going to happen here if you do nothing,” he said.

Garner said DNR biologists want to collect additional samples from a 31-square-mile target area generally west of Harpers Ferry. About one-third of the target area lies within the Yellow River State Forest.

“We need to pinpoint the scope of the problem. That information will help us determine the next step, if a next step becomes necessary,” he said.

The tissue samples required to diagnose chronic wasting disease cannot be extracted from live animals.

During a public input session, hunters, landowners and other residents expressed approval of a proposal to harvest and collect samples from 150 to 200 deer, possibly starting within a week.

Though details have yet to be finalized, Garner said scientific collector permits would be issued to participants.

It would be “tightly controlled initiative,” said Jim Jansen, the DNR’s northeast Iowa wildlife supervisor.

Dick Riese, a Postville veterinarian and deer hunter, said the proposal “is a good start.”

“This is a serious situation. It’s here, and it’s going to keep spreading unless we do something about it,” Riese said.


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Kelly Hepler Selected As GFP Secretary

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today he has selected Kelly Hepler to serve as the next secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). Hepler currently serves as assistant commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), a position he has held since 2010.

“I’m thrilled Kelly has agreed to serve as our next secretary of Game, Fish and Parks and happy that we could help bring him back to South Dakota,” said Gov. Daugaard. “His wealth of knowledge and experience in handling complex issues will make him a real asset to our team.”  Continue reading

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Bill would remove federal protections for wolves in 4 states


January 13, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Several members of Congress are preparing legislation to take gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming off the endangered list in an attempt to undo court decisions that have blocked the states from allowing wolf hunting and trapping for sport and predator control. Continue reading

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