Climbers, Cavers Reminded to Clean Gear To Help Wyoming Bats
As the weather gets warmer, the climbing season will begin in Vedauwoo and other areas in Wyoming.
Climbers, as well as cavers, are being reminded by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to clean their gear before and after visiting caves or climbing areas.
The reason for this comes from the finding of pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) in Carbon and Platte counties within the caves there.
Pd is a type of fungus which causes white-nose syndrome in bats, and cleaning gear before and after a climb or expedition is essential to making sure this does not spread across the state. This syndrome causes erosion of the skin of hibernating bats, causing them to wake up more frequently, which uses up the energy which they have stored. Bats typically die from this syndrome through starvation or exposure when they leave the hibernaculum, or place where they are hibernating, in search of food.
This is the first time Pd has been identified in a hibernacula in the state.
Because of this, Wyoming Game and Fish is asking that those who visit places where bats are present clean their shoes and gear before and after their visit, as well as check any items for bats before packing up.
If you encounter a sick or dead bat during the winter or spring season, please report it to the Game and Fish by calling (307) 332-2688.