White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that’s decimating bat populations. It slowly weakens the animals until they die of starvation. It kills about 85 per cent to 99.9 per cent of bats in affected hibernacula. It was first detected in the eastern United States in 2006 and has wiped out entire populations there.
The syndrome has spread to seven Canadian provinces. It was found first in Ontario and Quebec, then Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. Most recently it’s been found in Manitoba and to the south of British Columbia in Washington State.
TRU is part of the research to test a probiotic cocktail. Nicolas Fontaine, a master’s student at Thompson Rivers University, helped develop and test the probiotic cocktail on captive bats to ensure it is safe for use in the field.
This article appeared on the CBC news website. See the full story here.