HELENA – Samples taken in six eastern Montana counties this past summer have tested positive for the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS) disease in bats. The presence of the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) does not necessarily confirm the presence of the disease, but biologists are closely monitoring the situation and further sampling and testing will be conducted. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff is asking the public to report any dead or dying bats they observe this winter and spring to their local FWP office.
“We are disappointed but not at all surprised at this finding,” said FWP’s Wildlife Division Bureaus Coordinator Lauri Hanauska-Brown. “As the fungus and this deadly disease have moved across the states, we knew it was only a matter of time before it reached Montana. Now, we have to work together to help understand and combat this disease.”