White-nose syndrome confirmed in Tennessee's endangered gray bats

White-nose syndrome confirmed in Tennessee's endangered gray bats

May 29th, 2012 by Pam Sohn in Local - Breaking News

A file photo of brown bats hibernating in New Mammoth Cave near LaFollette, Tenn.

Photo by Tracey Trumbull/Times Free Press.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome in federally listed endangered gray bats in upper East Tennessee.

The disease was found in very rare bats that wintered in caves in Hawkins and Montgomery counties, and is the first confirmation of white-nose syndrome in federally listed gray bats.

"The documented spread of [white-nose syndrome] on gray bats is devastating news," said Paul McKenzie, a Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species coordinator, in a prepared statement.

"This species was well on the road to recovery, and confirmation of the disease is great cause for concern," he said.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.