Monday, March 09, 2009

White-nose Syndrome

Though not a bird related article, I think the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) that's killing bats is a very important ecological issue to follow. This malady is named for a white fungal growth appearing around the muzzles and wings of bats as they hibernate in caves. The mortality rate of WNS is high; bat populations at some caves have declined as much as 90% in a relatively short timeframe – entire bat species are potentially at risk. It was discovered in caves in New York in 2006 and has since spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut during 2008. Already this year it's been confirmed in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The cause of WNS remains elusive. The latest issue of The Nature Conservancy's magazine features an article on the plight that's killing our bats and is a very worthwhile read.

Link: In the Dark - The Nature Conservancy

© 2009 Mike McDowell

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