[PHOTO CREDIT: KAREN VANDERWOLF/NB MUSEUM]
I recently attended the 6th annual white-nose syndrome workshop held in Boise, Idaho Sept 3-6th. These meetings are a bit different from regular conferences in that it is mostly unpublished research presented. The goal is to give researchers and managers the most up-to-date information possible instead of waiting for formal publications, a process that can take months to years. Around 150 people attended with 8 from Canada. The biggest excitement of the conference focused on the possible use of bacteria as a biocontrol for the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS). However, we are still a long ways from determining how to stop or control WNS in the field. Nevertheless, the amount of research accomplished since the disease was first seen in 2006 is truly impressive. We learn more every year thanks to a small group of dedicated people, many of whom were at the workshop.
The second part of the workshop focused on specific areas of the issue, such as the Conservation & Recovery working group and the Diagnostics & Surveillance working group. These groups debate strategies, research priorities, best management practices, and other issues. It is a great venue for discussion amongst experts.
I look forward to the 7th annual WNS workshop.