Status Report on New York Caves
(e-mail message from Alan Hicks)

From:   Alan Hicks <>
Date:   Wed, 6 Feb 2008 13:43:38 -0500 (EST)
To:     (unknown recipients. This message was forwarded to Bob Hoke)

Greetings all,

Given that white nose has now crossed state lines and that there will be an increasing need for multi-state coordination, it seems appropriate that many of the associated tasks, including communicating updates to all concerned parties, should be the responsibility of the FWS, not New York.

For that reason, Susi von Oettingen of the New England Field office and Robyn Niver of the NY field office of the FWS have gladly taken on the task of making sure you are all up to date on what is going on, and that your general questions are answered. I will continue to focus on making sure that the various researchers get the specimens and information they need to figure this mess out as quickly as we can.

This, my last general report, is not a good one.

Sunday I received a report (not yet confirmed) of white nose in Clarksville Cave, the most visited cave in the state, which is 6 miles from the next closest confirmed location.

I received notification of an additionally infected site this morning from an experienced source.  Mitchell's Cave in Montgomery county, is a bit less than 5 miles to the east of Canajoharie NY, and 14 miles north of the next closest infected site. This cave is not often visited by cavers.

We have suspicious images from Barton Hill Mine, suggesting that it to is infected. We will have to confirm that.

We currently have 9 confirmed infected sites and two possible.

Right now, with the exception of Jamesville Quarry Cave near Syracuse, every site DEC staff has visited this year is either confirmed infected, or is very suspicious. These sites involve over 200,000 animals, including nearly 50,000 sodalis.  We are one survey short of saying that every substantial collection of wintering bats in the state is infected.

If you are not worried, you should be. The two sites infected last year that have been surveyed so far this winter have experienced a 90% and 97% drop in populations since this began, with most of the survivors currently in poor health.

Sorry for the bad news.

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