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  1. #1
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    Bat-killing syndrome spreads in Northeast

    Bat-killing syndrome spreads in Northeast

    ROSENDALE, N.Y. A mysterious and deadly bat disorder discovered just two winters ago in a few New York caves has now spread to at least six northeastern states, and scientists are scrambling to find solutions before it spreads across the country.

    White-nose syndrome poses no health threat to people, but some scientists say that if bat populations diminish too much, the insects and crop pests they eat could flourish. Researchers recently identified the fungus that creates the syndrome's distinctive white smudges on the noses and wings of hibernating bats, but they don't yet know how to stop the disorder from killing off caves full of the ecologically important animals.

    "The cause for concern is that this is going to race across the country faster than we can come up with a solution," said Alan Hicks, a wildlife biologist with New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation.

    "Now that is entirely possible."

    Bats with white-nose burn through their fat stores before spring, driving some to rouse early from hibernation in a futile search for food. Many die as they hunt fruitlessly for insects.

    White-nose syndrome spread fast last winter to dozens of caves in New York and southern New England, within a roughly 150-mile radius of the caves west of Albany, N.Y., where it was first found. Early observations show it has reached farther still this winter, even before cave inspections and bat counts begin in earnest this month.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/...us/bat_die_off

  2. #2
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    I heard about this on National Public Radio a few weeks ago. IIRC, a woman was saying it could be a mite...or a fungus.... no, maybe that was the bees that had mites....I can't remember!

    I hope they figure this out and save the bats! We need all the bats we can get here in Louisiana to control the mosquitos.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by accordn2me View Post
    I heard about this on National Public Radio a few weeks ago. IIRC, a woman was saying it could be a mite...or a fungus.... no, maybe that was the bees that had mites....I can't remember!

    I hope they figure this out and save the bats! We need all the bats we can get here in Louisiana to control the mosquitos.
    accordn2me, few people realize how many flying insects bats consume. If the bats go, we could be in for a major flying insect problem.



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