Skip to content

Bats Facing Regional Extinction in Northeastern US from Rapidly Spreading White-Nose Syndrome

August 14, 2010

From Science Daily

A new infectious disease spreading rapidly across the northeastern United States has killed millions of bats and is predicted to cause regional extinction of a once-common bat species, according to the findings of a University of California, Santa Cruz researcher.

The disease, white-nose syndrome, first discovered near Albany, N.Y. in 2006, affects hibernating bats and has caused millions to perish, writes lead author Winifred F. Frick, in a study published in the August 6 issue of Science.

Frick, a UC Santa Cruz graduate who is now a post-doctoral researcher in UCSC’s Environmental Studies department, said the disease is spreading quickly across the northeastern U.S. and Canada and now affects seven bat species. If death rates and spread continue as they have over the past four years, this disease will likely lead to the regional extinction of the little brown myotis, previously one of the most common species in North America, she said.

“This is one of the worst wildlife crises we’ve faced,” Frick said. “The bat research and conservation communities are trying as hard as possible to find a solution to this devastating problem.”

Frick notes that “bats perform valuable ecosystem services that matter for both the environments they live in and have tangible benefits to humans as well. Bats affected by this disease are all insect-eating species, and an individual bat can consume their body weight in insects every night, including some consumption of pest insects,” Frick said.

From Science Daily

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: