Field of Science

Bats: are belfries their only option?

Small mammals are dying and we don't know why! Does it matter? I've posted why it does and what we know previously. Well it looks like white-nose syndrome is spreading from a couple of caves in NY 2 years ago to 6 states already this year....this is not a good thing.

Mexican free-tailed bats © Lynn McBride (JPG)

One thing that stills concerns me is that researchers are trying to find ways to combat the Geomyces fungus, which is infecting the bats and is the white in white-nose. This is good, however I still have not seen definitive cause-effect data that suggests that fungus is the problem and not a symptom. I hope research is still being done to determine why bats are coming down with these fungal infections.

1. This is an emerging pathogen that has developed virulence properties. While these fungi do not grow at human body temperature, Im not a cheerleader of emerging mammalian infectious agents.

2. Environmental toxins are screwing up the bats immune system or physiology.

3. A virus is acting similarly to the environmental toxin example (analogous to HIV in people).

4. Others I have yet completed the thought on.

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