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It's Time To Save Our Bats From The White-Nose Syndrome

Apr 05, 2016 10:05 AM EDT
Mexican free-tailed bats
Mexican free-tailed bats are fleeing from a bat cave preserve.
(Photo : Joel Sartore/Getty Images)

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center recently verified the white-nose syndrome (WNS) in a little brown bat. The white-nose syndrome is a disease caused by a fungus and has killed millions of bats in North America.

The sick bat was spotted 30 miles east of Seattle, and this is the first time the syndrome is affecting the western United States. Though it was taken to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society for care, the little bat died after two days.

The white nose syndrome is quite a deadly fungal disease that attacks hibernating bats' skin. The disease spreads from one bat to another, especially in cave environments.

The disease causes damage to the mammal, especially to its wing tissue. The bats are also affected by a physiological imbalance that results in a disturbed hibernation. Over time, dehydration affects the bats, which can lead to their death.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the white-nose syndrome has become the reason behind the decline of many bat species, including the northern long-eared bat, little brown bat, tricolored bat and Indiana bat.

Unfortunately, there is no medical remedy to save the bats from this deadly disease. The best way to save them is by stopping the spread of the fungus from one bat to the rest of its colony.

It is important to save our bats from this syndrome since they play a major role in balancing the ecosystem.

In Washington, there are 15 species of bats that help humans by destroying large numbers of insects and pests. Bats provide pest control for farmers as well, thus play a major role in agriculture. They pollinate plants and disperse seeds that enable fruit production.

This spreading deadly syndrome, if not stopped, can affect commercial crops and forest health in this region.

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