Fungus that affects bats discovered in North Dakota

A bat in the Soudan mine with WNS.
A bat in the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota showing signs of white-nose syndrome. The National Park Service says the fungus that causes the disease has been discovered in North Dakota.
Christine Salomon | University of Minnesota

The National Park Service says the fungus that causes a deadly disease in bats has been discovered in North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the fungus was discovered after swab testing of a bat that was captured May 6 at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site near Stanton.

The fungus causes white-nose syndrome, which can lead to dehydration or other conditions that kill bats.

Thirty-three states have confirmed the disease since it was found in 2006 in New York. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuge specialist Catherine Hibbard says four states, including North Dakota, have discovered only the fungus.

South Dakota identified the fungus and disease for the first time last year.

Humans can transmit the fungus but aren't affected by it. It is spread easily among bats.

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