Something Batty in the Northeast


   Bats in the Northeast United States are dying off by the thousands.  This is a story I have been reading about for quite a while and I have always had an uneasy feeling when thinking about it.  We read and hear quite often that one of the biggest threats to the long term well being of the human species is the chance of some deadly biological organism spreading through our population.  Yes, sometimes the media gets carried away… like with the Bird Flu story, (which is actually still in the news).  But the dying bats are a story that is uncomfortably similar to all the warnings we have heard about various threat to us humans.  Many experts say this has the potential to quickly spread across all of North America.

The bats are dying from a “mysterious” fungal disease called “white nosed syndrome”.  Experts do not know the origin of the disease or why it has suddenly shown up in the bats. Perhaps it is some change in their ecological niche?  Maybe it is something that has been introduced to North America by the “small world” changes many experts say are also putting the health of humans at risk?  This is not a new phenomenon.  Dutch Elm Disease and the current Colony Collapse Disorder in bees come to mind.  It is still concerning and maybe just a matter of time until something similar does affect humans.

The rate at which the fungus is spreading and bats are dying has caused much concern since bats are a huge part of nature’s way of keeping insect populations under control.  Quite apart from their contribution to controlling insect populations, I have always had a special affection for bats my whole life.  I am not sure why, but to me summer evenings would be forever changed if we could not recline on the grass and watch the bats just above, swooping hither and fro, eating almost their body weight in mosquitoes.  Have you ever sat at the edge of a lake at dusk and watched bats dipping down to within millimeters of the surface chasing dinner?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has a very good summary of the bat problem.  Let’s hope the experts get to the bottom of the mystery before our evenings become as devoid of wonderful bats as our streets have become devoid of stately elm trees.

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Will Sig
1 Jonara Blu Maui

I had no idea..that is really sad! I always have liked bats they are so interesting. I hope they can figure out what it is that is causing this.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my wordless wednesday pics…that was quick I just put it up! And you are 1/2’s not snowy..but it is cold right now! Probably not cold to the rest of the world..but for us acclimated to island weather and for us who own no winter clothing it’s freezing!

Jonara Blu Mauis last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Maui Sunset


2 Anna

Hey Will good post. I did not know about bats, too bad. Its probably all about mutation too. Kind of scary.

You said: I have always had a special affection for bats my whole life. – on no, I always was scared of bats as my parents always told us to watch out because they like to land on human heads.

Annas last blog post..A Bit of Knowledge: How To Take Photos of the Moon – Handy Tip For SLR Digital Cameras


3 Ruth

The problems in animal species are our canary in the coal mine…a massive die-off of the human population is closer than anyone would like to think. Unfortunately, from what I’ve been reading, there’s little or nothing anyone can do about it at this point other than stock up on emergency supplies for themselves and their families. 🙁
.-= Ruth´s last blog ..Help End Hunger with The Dinner Garden =-.


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