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Southeastern Bat
This southeastern bat was confirmed to have white-nose syndrome. (Photo: Dottie Brown.)

Biologists have confirmed white-nose syndrome (WNS) in the southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius) for the first time. The species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease. 

The diseased bat was found in Shelby County, Alabama, at Lake Purdy Corkscrew Cave by surveyors from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Nongame Program; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Alabama Ecological Services Field Office; Ecological Solutions, Inc.; and the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.

The cave is owned by the Birmingham Water Works and managed by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. The conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting cave and karst environments across the Southeast through conservation, education and recreation. 

WNS in the southeastern bat was confirmed in the laboratory by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is gearing up for the state’s 12th Annual Youth Dove Hunts, one of the more popular events and a traditional kickoff to hunting seasons.

The youth hunts will be held in the following counties: Baldwin, Barbour, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Colbert, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Walker and Wilcox.

North Zone hunts begin Sept. 8, and South Zone hunts begin Sept. 22. South Zone counties include Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Mobile; all other counties are in the North Zone. The hunts are sponsored by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries with support from many partners.

Online registration begins Aug. 22 for the September hunts and Sept. 14 for the October hunts. Participants without Internet access may register by calling their WFF district office listed in the hunt schedule. District office personnel will complete the electronic registration form for you over the phone.

“The youth dove hunts are a perfect way to introduce kids to hunting,” said Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr.  “Spending quality time with family members, while enjoying a safe hunting experience, is a great way to help ensure our hunting heritage.”

Alabama’s Youth Dove Hunting events are held in open fields and staffed by ADCNR personnel, which encourages a safe, secure environment for parents and participants. The program also makes use of private lands and fields opened for use by community members, thus fostering good relationships between hunters and private landowners.

To participate in the hunts, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 25 years old (or a parent) who holds a valid state hunting license and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp. Hunters should obtain their license and HIP stamp before the hunt since they will not be available on-site.

Before each hunt, a short welcome session with reminders on hunting safety will be conducted. All hunters are encouraged to wear eye protection and earplugs.

Hunt schedules and registration information are available at www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/youth-hunts. Although the hunts are free, pre-registration is necessary. The preferred method of registration is online at www.outdooralabama.com.

 

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