Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 7, 2013

How Military Bunkers Help Bats Fight Disease

Bat Conservation International reports in their recent newsletter how an old military bunker, that once housed nuclear weapons, are being used to help bats fight  White-nose Syndrome (WNS).  A bunker that are found at the  Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Maine was sterilized n hopes of eliminating the P. destructans fungus (formerly called Geomyces destructans) that causes WNS.  To encourage Bats to use the bunker as a cave there is a plan to broadcast recordings of bats’ swarming calls. The article states that

“A major goal is to provide usable hibernation sites that can be decontaminated each year before bats return for their winter hibernation. Fungicides or other toxins can kill the P. destructans fungus, but they would also destroy the complex ecosystems that thrive within natural caves, especially those used by bats.”

Wikipedia reports”

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a poorly understood disease associated with the deaths of at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million North American bats.[1] The condition, named for a distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats, was first identified in a cave in Schoharie County, New York in February 2006.[2] It has rapidly spread,[3] and as of 2013, the condition had been found in over 115 caves and mines ranging mostly throughout the Northeastern U.S. and as far south as Alabama and west to Missouri and into four Canadian provinces

WNS is killing bats of seven species in 23 U.S. states and 5 Canadian provinces. To learn more about using bunkers to combat WNS go to Bats in the NewsCold War bunkers join the fight against WNS


Responses

  1. […] How Military Bunkers Help Bats Fight Disease (naturalhistorywanderings.com) […]

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  2. […] How Military Bunkers Help Bats Fight Disease (naturalhistorywanderings.com) […]

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  3. Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.

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