Cute Little White Nose? No, A Deadly Disease.

White-nose syndrome has hit the American and Canadian bat population hard. This disease is caused by a fungus called pseudogymnoascus destructans ( it’s a mouth full ). Five of Michigan’s bat species can contract the disease, and the bats that hibernate underground are the ones at the highest risk. The Northern long eared bat is also being taken over by this devastating disease.

In China, there are studies being done to try and prevent the further spread of the white-nose syndrome. It seems that bats in China are more resistant to the fungus than most bats in North America. These bats in China seem to have much lower amounts of the fungus than the bats found in North America which are just being introduced to this disease. White-nose syndrome has been affecting the bats in the U.S. for only a decade; however the bats found in Asia and Europe have been dealing with the fungus for much longer. It’s thought that Asian and European bats have coexisted with the disease for upwards of 1,000 years. The studies done in China have not pointed out any ways to control the fungus, however with the experiments being done could shed light on whether our bats here in the U.S. would be able to build up a resistance to the disease.

After some research in North America, it was found that some of the species located here have different ways of coping with the disease. It seems that the big brown bat has a slight resistance to white-nose syndrome already.  The northern long eared bat is not so lucky; they are now on the Endangered Species Act. Going through extremely high declines in
caves and mines that have been studied make their future seem grim. The scientists and researchers are going to keep pursuing a cure or a way to take preventive measures for this disease.  In situations like this people like you and I can help the bats that are now endangered. Donating to the Bat Conservation International everyone can take the steps to prevent the further decline of the species. This is one of the best organizations to go through for the protection of bats around the world.



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