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Currently Targeting... Dead Bats and White Nose Syndrome

Dead Bats and White Nose Syndrome

Having found plenty of dead bats in my house before, and as I previously wrote on bat deaths and bat diseases, the unknown reasons behind the bat colony collapse and white nose syndrome, particularly in the Northeast United States, continue to perplex ecologists and conservationists. Scientists, bless their hearts, have continued working on the problem and today released the new news that the type of fungus that is indicative of the white nose syndrome has been identified: (from the usgs press release)

Geomyces are a group of fungi that live in soil, water and air and are capable of growing and reproducing at refrigerator-level temperatures. Although the new fungus is a close genetic relative of known Geomyces, it does not look like a typical member of this group under the microscope. “We found that this fungus had colonized the skin of 90 percent of the bats we analyzed from all the states affected by white-nose syndrome,” Blehert said.

Also heard recently was this excellent audio interview with ecologist Merlin Tuttle, head of Bat Conservation International, one of the best organizations collating Bat resources, information and education. The interview updates the current state of knowledge and suppositions surrounding the Bat Colony Collapse, or White Nose Syndrome. There is also a new news story on the white fungus responsible for white nose syndrome on NPR, you can listen to it here.

October 30, 2008
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