UV Project - update

Lab Note #1
May 07, 2014
The core of this comparison involves multiple years of data. We are currently monitoring the healing cycle of adult bats (banded from previous years) and (potentially) juvenile-of-the-year bats (no band). These two groups heal very differently. The adults heal with much less membrane damage and more quickly while the "potential" juveniles are more drastically impacted. Our observations are supported by a recent paper published about the bats immune system reaction to the fungus when they become euthermic. Our biggest issue is "positively" identifying a study bat as a juvenile rather than a "suspected" juvenile. That is where the pre and post WNS fluorescence (FL) plays a role. We have been seeing bats enter the hibernaculum that have a UV signature and some that don't. Pre-WNS bats have the same UV signature as the unbanded (potentially) juveniles we are seeing. From that general observation, we are thinking that WNS changes a bat in some way as far as physiology which accounts for the change in FL. The post-WNS bat has a totally different UV signature and is easily identified using a UV light source.
We are actively banding juvenile bats at area maternity colonies hoping to be able to find one who has come to the study hibernaculum. From there we can follow and better define our results. The probabilities of getting a banded juvenile back into the hibernaculum and being able to find it within the group of bats in residence is not high - lots of roosting locations we cannot easily access and multiple bats in one drill hole (holes left from blasting in the mine) requires a careful approach to minimize disturbance.
This is a complex area of research and several projects feed data into each other which directs the forthcoming research year-to-year. We have just submitted a paper for publication regarding the determination of a unique FL signature which indicates that Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) is present when scanned with UV - the first non-destructive field and laboratory "test" for the fungus.

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