Since its discovery in a population of bats in a New York cave in 2007, white nose syndrome has become one of the gravest threats to American and Canadian bats. White nose is a fungal infection that disrupts the bat’s hibernation cycle and has resulted in the death of approximately 6 million bats in North America. Kentucky has not escaped the infection’s spread; it first appeared in the Commonwealth in 2011 and has been detected in bats in western Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
These regional cases caught the attention of Murray State University student Jordan Robbins, and her research in this area was recently featured at Posters-at-the-Capitol in Frankfort. Robbins and her faculty mentor, Dr. Terry Derting, spoke with Todd Hatton about the disease’s impact on our bats as well as the wider effect white nose could have in the Four Rivers region.