White Nose Syndrome Statement



The disease known as White-Nose Syndrome has been present in the US since 2007 and cavers should be aware of it by now. The fungus is confirmed in some of the caves offered at Speleofest this year, including several caves in Breckenridge County that contain bat hibernacula. It should be assumed that the fungus is present in a much larger area than where symptoms are currently found. While scientists have confirmed that the primary vector of transmission is bat to bat, we are still taking precautions to ensure that we do not inadvertently speed up the process.


If caving both days at Speleofest, please decontaminate your gear between caving trips or use a dedicated set of gear and clothes for each cave you enter. There is a decon station on the property with instructions on how to properly decon your gear in accordance with the latest Decon standards set by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department. The biggest threat is the possibility that a caver could assist the fungus in a “jump” over a long distance from one area to another, which would far surpass the natural progression of the bat to bat vector. One way to avoid the possibility of a large jump is to choose two cave trips that are in close proximity to each other this year at Speleofest.


http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/sites/default/files/resource/national_wns_revise_final_6.25.12.pdf


If you read and understand this information provided, you should be ready to go caving.