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Little Brown Bat Die-Off Traced to Fungus


Science & Tech  (tags: little brown bats, fungus, white-nose syndrome, hibernation )

RC
- 3303 days ago - nytimes.com
The massive die-off of little brown bats in the northeast US has been linked to a fungus by the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin. Researchers say they think the fungus invades the bats' bodies during hibernation and they starve to death.



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Comments

RC deWinter (418)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 5:55 am
David S. Blehert, who headed the team that identified the fungus link to white-nose syndrome found in the dead bats, says there is "good circumstantial evidence" that this fungus is the primary, and not the secondary (as was originally thought) pathogen causing the disease. Now scientists must find a way to destroy the fungus without killing off all fungi that live in bat habitats.
 

Faith M (161)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 7:40 am
It is my prayer that they find a solution soon
 

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 8:00 am
I hope so too Faith!
 

Laurie W (189)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 8:17 am
Hopefully they will find the source of the fungus, and why this is occuring.and then think before they pull out ?? chemicals to do a quick fix.
They are definitely one more part of the balance of the eco-system we can't afford to lose ..or screw up.
 

Louise L (48)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 8:49 am
These types of die offs, bats, bees, Tasmanian devils, sadden me no end, even though I realize it is sometimes natures way of equalizing populations, similar to our "killer" viruses. I'm really hoping this time the scientists can, at least, slow the fungus down, maybe with a natural enemy of some kind...but Laurie's concerns are valid; fix one thing, break something else. Thanks for the update, Ombretta, happy November.
 

Joycey B (750)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 8:56 am
This is so horrible. Hopefully they can find out before it is too late. Thanks Cate.
 

RosemaryRannes H (652)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 9:42 am
Critically challenged scientists will find a way !
 

Sandy v (91)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 12:19 pm
OH This breaks my heart. We need bats to combat mosquitos etc. They protect us from so much and we don't have a way to save them. I know many people use guano for fertilizer so wouldn't this spread this fungus? And if we could clean out these caves, would that, too , be detructive to these little guys? There just has to be an answer out there. I don't believe in natural kill off as we as humans have screwed up things so bad nothing is natural anymore.
 

Brenda H (29)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 12:24 pm
I LIVE OUT IN THE COUNTRY AND HAVE MANY, MANY BAT'S THAT COME OUT WHEN MY NIGHT LIGHT'S COME ON--THEY EAT MOSQUITOS AND ALL KINDS OF BUGS--IT WOULD BE TERRIBLE TO LOSE THEM! THANKS CATE!
 

Janet Pearson (8)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 1:17 pm
I hope they find a solution and soon! Even if it means moving as many bats away from that area as possible, until they find a way to clean up the area, and then return them to their native habitats. Scientists who used to say "hands off all endangered species" are now realizing that we have to step in and save these animals, even if it means collecting as many breeding pairs as possible. Better to have jungle frogs living in zoos and universities than to have them go extinct in the wild. We humans have an enormous responsibility here. We caused the climate changes that sparked these epidemics and endangered these species, so we are honor-bound to do whatever it takes to save them.
 

Ann Sumpter (30)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 3:12 pm
noted. thank you Cate
This is so horrible.
 

Michelle Lell (255)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 3:21 pm
we must keep researching this...
 

ROBIN M (312)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 4:24 pm
I AM NOT TO KEEN ON BATS MYSELF BUT NO ANIMAL DERSERVES TO DIE LIKE THIS, I DO HOPE THEY FIND A SAFE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. ALL ANIMALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIFE.
 

Denice G (45)
Saturday November 1, 2008, 8:16 pm
We need our bats, they are a very good thing that we can not afford to lose. A solution needs to be found. Thanks again Cate.
 

Darlene K (356)
Sunday November 2, 2008, 1:48 am
Earth's eco-system needs the bat species, and this is alarming and heartbreaking. I am very found of bats, and this problem needs effective strong efforts stepped up, or we will lose them. Noted and thank you.
 

Vivian F (491)
Sunday November 2, 2008, 5:27 pm
I hope a cure is found very soon; bats are crucial to our ecosystem and they are cute as well.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 3, 2008, 8:18 pm
Horrible.
 
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