Speak Up for Bats

Over the past four years, more than a million bats have died in the eastern U.S. from white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that is making its way across the country and is also threatening bat populations in Canada.

White-nose syndrome, identified by a white fungus, Geomyces destructans, on the faces and wings of affected bats, was first documented in New York in 2006. Since then, it has made its way to New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Last spring, it showed up in Oklahoma and now it’s in Indiana. 

It’s believed that the fungus, which thrives in the cold, has multiple physiological effects on bats and disrupts hibernation, causing bats to wake up more and use the fat reserves they need to survive through the winter. Some bats leave hibernation too soon and either freeze or starve to death.

White-nose syndrome has been killing tri-colored, little brown, northern long-eared, big brown, small-footed and Indiana bats, which are listed as an endangered species. Scientists believe the disease is being spread between bats, but also strongly believe that it is being spread by humans who visit caves.

In 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition asking for the closure of caves in the lower 48 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Forest Service have closed caves and mines in eastern and southern national forests and in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and part of South Dakota.

Recreational use of caves on national wildlife refuges has also been banned, along with some areas in New Mexico.

However, there are still open dwellings in the Southwest, Intermountain West, Montana, Idaho, Pacific Northwest and California leaving 23 species of hybernating bats vulnerable.  

Some agencies want to wait to take further action when white-nose syndrome appears in the area.

Please send a message to our federal agencies asking them to continue with their efforts to stop the spread of white-nose syndrome and close bat caves immediately, before it spreads, not after.  

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69439747@N00/

186 comments

Colleen Roome
Colleen Roome4 years ago

best on the planet for natural insect control,I know several people encourage bats near their homes by building bat houses (much the same as a bird house) all over the property, great being a neighbour in the summer

Cami M.
Cami M.4 years ago

"Some agencies want to wait to take further action when white-nose syndrome appears in the area"... means they want to wait until it is too late to do anything... there by saving their budgetary outlay.

Erin Meise
Erin Meise4 years ago

I LOVE bats! it's so sad that this is happening. They should be doing more to help...

Shirley Higgins
Shirley Higgins4 years ago

The Dalai Lama commented on animals - 'if we kill off all the animals this will ultimately cause humans to die as a result, because animals 'anchor' in energy around the planet' ..... this makes sense to me. I think he means, animals work in together in & around the planet to keep everything in balance. This balance is being upset as is whats happening in the barrier reef with calcification & pesticide run off from farms into the oceans.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold4 years ago

I know that bats are scary (having had a few in my home which backed up to the woods) and they make to most hideous noise when screeching, but without them, life would be a much larger problem. Let's NOT do what we do best. We are killing off all that does fit with our concept of what is right in life. Let's let them live.

Andrea A.
Andrea A.4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

wendy lott
wendy baus4 years ago

First, this is the first time I've seen this article and it says, "send a message" but, when you go there you find this case is closed and inactive. Secondly, since bats eat thousands of insects every night - insects that eat our corn and cotton crops etc. - crops that are mostly genetically modified, maybe we are seeing the results of genetically modified food. It may take time to show up in the human population because our diet is more diverse - but, it`s coming! Big Pharma/Agra are in a feeding frenzie - and we`re the main course!

Kahn L.
Kahn L.4 years ago

Has this syndrome go out of control as a result of human activity in caves?Shouldn't we first investigate the infectious source and transmission method as the premise to take the next step of measurement?I can feel that the ecosystem is becoming increasingly susceptible to diseases but unless we find the real solution,all our assumption may just go in vain.Research, and more attention need to be drawn to this issue which requires our effective,brave and unique thinking and action.

Sandra D.
Sandra D.4 years ago

Our goverments are to busy with $$$$$$ with pipelines.
Why should they bother with BATS????

William Y.
William Y.4 years ago

Q Kathryn B. Many people seem to think that this planet, earth, was created for them and that the other animals are interlopes on their, human, territory when in reality,it is just the opposite, humans are the interlopers and seem to go out of their way yo claim the animals' territory for their, human, arrogant selves.