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RELATIONSHIPS AND BATS


In the Spring, Marylu and I spent a day at one of our State Parks, McCormick's Creek (my personal favorite). But we could not go into the cave there because of a deadly disease that is annihilating bats.


2. This week, an AP story broke:


"A mysterious illness is threatening the bat population in North America, and scientists believe a fungus is to blame. White Nose Syndrome (WNS) was first detected in New York in 2006. In just four years, the disease has spread across New England and the Mid-Atlantic states and into Canada, The U.S. Forest Service said. Recent sightings have been reported in bat populations in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. At the time of this writing, more than 1 million bats have died, Reuters reported.


Researchers say WNS is caused by a cold-loving fungus called Geomyces destructans. The fungus is spread primarily through bat-to-bat interaction, but it can also be transmitted on the footwear, clothing and gear of cave visitors. When the fungus comes in contact with a bat, it produces a white material on the animal's face and wings, and forces the creature out of hibernation in the middle of winter. Infected bats then attempt to find food. Since there are no insects available, the bats literally starve to death.


We tend to forget how we affect one another. Humans affect bats, bats eat bugs, bugs can bite and infect humans….all tangled up.

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