Once our MAKC bat counting crew discovered White Nose Syndrome in Hall Cave, the conservancy immediately contacted Greg Turner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission to document a new site and a new county for WNS. Within four days Greg and researchers from Bucknell University returned with Kerry Speelman and Mike Kern to document and verify the outbreak.
The researchers were given permission to collect about 100 bats for the study. Turner had noted that the bats were “goners” anyway, and confirmed not only the outbreak, but that many more bats than the conservatively estimated 20 percent had been impacted.
In February, Turner was scheduled to bring a photographer from National Geograpic to Hall Cave to photograph the bats, but due to the snowstorm and our date to get this issue to press, whether or not that happened will have to wait until the next issue.
The MAKC hopes that collection of these bats for scientific study will help save many more bats in the future.