Skip to comments.Dying bats called No. 1 mammal crisis in U.S.
Posted on 07/13/2011 9:49:34 AM PDT by americanophile
(CBS News) The lightning-fast die-off of bats is being called the No. 1 crisis affecting mammals in this country. Scientists from more than 100 state and federal agencies are coordinating their efforts to learn why bats are dying.
CBS News Correspondent Betty Nguyen noted on "The Early Show" that one of the consequences of the bats' deaths is more bugs.
Wildlife officials now are pointing to a fungus they say is killing bats in unprecedented numbers.
It's a desperate situation with no solution in sight.
Nguyen reported bats often get a bad rap as creepy, blood-sucking night creatures. But farmers, like James Roby, actually count on them to eat 100,000 tons of crop-damaging bugs every year.
Roby showed Nguyen a chard leaf, badly damaged by a caterpillar or worm.
He explained, "(The damage) would have been potentially controlled by a bat that would have nailed the moth that would have laid the eggs on this leaf to begin with."
That's not happening because bats are in danger. A fast-spreading fungus has wiped out a million of them in 18 East Coast states.
Roby said of the chard crop, "It's inedible right now; it's just not marketable."
An ailment dubbed White-Nose Syndrome leaves the fungus on a bat's nose, wings and body, and that eventually leads to starvation. The die-off is so great - and so fast - the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife has declared bats the No. 1 mammal in crisis in the U.S.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
I know this has resulted in the closure of a number of tourist caves in order to protect the bats from the disease.
First bees now bats? weird...
I thought the number 1 problem for mammals was stinkbugs
No shortage of them around here (central Florida) since the rains woke up the mosquito larvae. Thank Goodness!
In the evenings as it gets dark there are bats flying all around my house, its fun to watch them dip and dive for the mosquitoes buzzing around. If memory serves they eat almost their body weight each night in bugs, if you have a lot of mosquitoes like I do that can be a big plus.
Jeez, in Austin 3 weeks ago we watched 1.5 million bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue bridge at dusk. Doesn’t look like there’s a problem in Central Texas...
I sincerely hope that it cross contaminates the moon bats.
Rabbits are up this year, of course cyclical population variation is always unprecedented if you have no true baseline.
Political Science needs to stay the hell out of real science.
There have been several people here who have been bitten by bats this summer. Rabies shots aren’t fun.
I am astounded that there was no mention of global warming or climate change in this article. Maybe even the journalists are starting to get bored/annoyed with that constant meme.
There goes baseball.
I’ve noticed rabbits and snakes are up, hawks (their main predator in my area) are down, and the bats that were abundant in early June are now nowhere to be seen.
This is a strange year (NW Ohio, rural)
Bats get the bends!
First I've heard of this HUGE PROBLEM.
It is already clear to me that only regulatory overkill can possibly save the day. The epa will need to be at least double in size. The call must go out to find humans willing to be sacrificed in this calamity. One of the 50 states will need to be fully depopulated of humans just to make a suitable laboratory to find the answer.
Don’t tell us it was baseball bats. I was hoping for dingbats.
Darwin would say it’s survival of the fittest.
...another proof of the bankruptcy of his ideas.
I used to have them swooping over the back yard because the skeeters would congregate around the Koi pond.
I have no more bats but lots of skeeters and I get really awful reactions to their bites.
Riding home on the Harley the other night, I nearly got bonked by a bat diving for the bugs attracted to my head light.
It was the first bat I’ve actually seen, this year.
I miss them.
Bats are cool.
We’re all dead now anyway, aren’t we? From the honey-bee “crisis”. So this one is too late to matter.
Old Tunnel refuge between Fredricksburg and Comfort Texas has had no shortage at all this, even with the drought.