|The bat population in the state of Missouri is not immune to white-nose syndrome that has killed more than a million bats in the Northeast since its discovery near Albany, NY about four years ago. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other federal and state agencies, and tribal governments, is proposing a coordinated national management plan to address this critical environmental issue.
The proposed plan available online for public comment beginning October 28, 2010 until December 26, 2010, is a joint federal-state effort that provides a framework for WNS investigation and response. A subsequent implementation plan will identify specific actions, the entities responsible for implementation of each action, and estimated costs.
“More than 50 agencies, organizations and individuals are working in concert on the white-nose syndrome response,” said WNS National Coordinator Jeremy Coleman, Ph.D., of the Fish & Wildlife Service. “The national management plan will help guide our use of limited resources wisely and efficiently in addressing this urgent threat to bats and to our environment.”
Including an overall strategy for investigating the cause of WNS and finding a way to manage it, the proposed plan identifies key actions and the roles of federal and state agencies and other entities in addressing WNS nationally. It identifies seven focus areas of responsibility – communications, scientific and technical information dissemination, diagnostics, disease management, research coordination, disease surveillance, and conservation and recovery of affected species.
The document and additional information about WNS are available online here. Comments may be submitted by e-mail here, by mail to WNS National Coordinator, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Rd., Cortland, NY 13045-9348, or by fax to (607) 753-9699.
For an earlier article, please go here.