Bats in Danger: White Nose Syndrome Devastates Hibernating Bat Populations

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Bats are important in mosquito control. Photo: Lolo / CC by 2.0

Bats are important in mosquito control. Photo: Lolo / CC by 2.0

White Nose Syndrome Impacts Many Bat Species

While diseases sometimes stick to a limited population of animals, many bat species across North America are affected by this disease.

This includes common bats like the little brown myotis bat, a very common bat that flits across fields and gardens in summer evenings.

The species impacted include the Big Brown Bat, the Little Brown Bat, the Eastern Small-footed bat, the Gray bat, the Indiana bat, the Northern long-eared bat, and the tricolored bat.

What can be done to stop the spread of the syndrome? At the moment, researchers don’t have any easy answers.

Caves across North America have been closed in order to stop the spread of the disease, since it appears to reside in the soil and cavers may transport it as they go from place to place.

While some bat populations may have been numerous, this disease is so dangerous that the discussion now focuses on preventing the extinction of the once-common North American bat species.

Resources

Bat Conservation International. White-nose Syndrome. Accessed January 4, 2013.

David S. Blehert, Alan C. Hicks, Melissa Behr, Carol U. Meteyer, Brenda M. Berlowski-Zier, Elizabeth L. Buckles, Jeremy T. H. Coleman, Scott R. Darling, Andrea Gargas, Robyn Niver, Joseph C. Okoniewski, Robert J. Rudd, Ward B.Stone. Bat White-Nose Syndrome: An Emerging Fungal Pathogen? (2008). Science Express. Accessed January 4, 2013.

Tenenbaum, David. December 14, 2012. Bad News for Bats: Deadly Fungus Persists in Caves? Accessed January 4, 2013.

White Nose Syndrome. Map of White Nose Syndrome. Accessed January 3, 2013.

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