Between December 2012 and April 2013, bats were observed flying during daylight hours throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although some bats displayed typical foraging and drinking behavior, others appeared sick or incapable of flying, some were flying erratically, and one collided with a hiker. These observations tended to be reported on warmer-than-average days. Nine bats were collected and tested negative for rabies; 6 that were tested for White-nose Syndrome (WNS) via histology were all diagnosed as WNS positive. An additional 6 bats that were not tested for rabies were also WNS positive. We hypothesize bats were becoming increasingly active and emerging from hibernacula due to WNS.
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Vol. 13 • No. 2