Hibernating bats in North America are in trouble. An invasive fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that causes a disease called white-nose syndrome is spreading across the continent and killing millions of bats. Bats eat insects and are integral to thriving ecosystems. With the loss of millions of bats because of this deadly fungus, many millions more forest and agriculture insect pests are left to feed on trees and crops, ultimately affecting the balance of nature and even human health.
There is no known cure for white-nose syndrome, but scientists from all over the world are working together to study the disease, how it spreads and infects bats and what we can do to control it. Much of this work has been done under the umbrella of the United States’ National Response to White-nose Syndrome, a broad, multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The White-nose Syndrome Prize Challenge seeks ideas that may lead to a permanent solution to this crisis of wildlife health by eliminating, weakening, or disarming the fungus that causes it.
Through the challenge, we invite ideas that can lead to solutions to reduce the effects of the fungus without harming other beneficial species or the environment. We are seeking ideas that can be employed in the field in the near future and benefit many of the affected species across their ranges.
Submission to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM ET Dec 31, 2019.