Have you seen any distressed or dead bats lately? Here’s why Texas officials want to know

Roosting Mexican-free tailed bats (Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Wildlife experts with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division is urging the public to help report bats infected with white-nose syndrome.

In a news release, the TPWD continues to monitoring the progression of the disease, which has infected bats in 18 counties.

White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease that affects hibernating bats during the cold winter months, with January and February considered as dangerous months, wildlife experts warned. The fungus thrives in colder temperatures, which encourages growth.

🦇 Please report dead or sick bats to help us monitor the progression of white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease...

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Monday, February 1, 2021

Nathan Fuller, a Texas bat biologist, urges Texans to keep an eye out for distressed bats and their ecosystems and report any bat deaths in their area. He said in a statement they will attempt to escape from their roosts once infected, which often leads to death.

The disease was first identified in 2006 in New York and quickly spread throughout North America. Millions of bats have perished since the disease emerged.

Although bats can easily spread the disease with other bats, the risk to humans remains very low, wildlife experts said.

To report a dead bat, email the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division at wns@tpwd.texas.gov, with a description, location, and a general paragraph. Experts urge people not to touch or handle live or dead bats.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.