Taxonomy term

bats

Asian bats resist white nose fungus

White Nose Syndrome has devastated bats across North America in recent years, but possible genetic resistance to the fungus has now been identified in some species of Asian bats. Researchers comparing North American and Chinese bat populations in a new study have found lower levels of infection — and greater capacities for recovery — in bats from five cave sites in China.

27 Jul 2016

Bat signals

Bats, the only true-flight mammals, first appeared during the Early Eocene after a period of acute global warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Despite decades of study, however, much remains unknown about bats. Recent discoveries are shedding new light on the natural history of these creatures, which today comprise one of the most diverse mammalian groups.

07 Apr 2016

Fossilized melanin reveals bats' true colors

Studies of pigments preserved in fossil feathers have changed our perception of how colorful dinosaurs were. Now, researchers have revealed the true colors of some of the first flying mammals as well. Two species of bats that lived during the Eocene about 50 million years ago were likely reddish-brown in color, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
02 Feb 2016

Banana-preserving bacterium shows promise against bat-killing fungus

Since White Nose Syndrome began decimating bat colonies in New England in 2006, most of the news hasn’t been good, and to date, as many as 6 million bats in 26 states have died as a result of infection. But a new trial pitting a particular soil bacterium against White Nose is providing a glimmer of hope in the fight to slow its devastating march across the country.

18 Jun 2015

Southeastern caves shuttered to slow the spread of bat-killing disease

On June 2, the U.S. Forest Service moved to close all caves and underground mines on national forest lands in the 13 states in its southern division for five years. The goal is to halt the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has already killed 5 million bats. 

06 Jun 2014

Mysterious disease sounds the death knell for bats

These are dark days for bats. Hundreds of thousands of tiny white-nosed bats have died over the past few winters, falling to cave floors across the eastern United States. The killer is White Nose Syndrome, a mysterious disease inflicted by an unusual cold-loving fungus that attacks bats while they are hibernating. Come spring, as few as 5 percent of the bats in heavily infected roosts are still alive.

18 May 2011

Bats and white-nose syndrome = VA cavers, please stay out

Blogging on EARTH

The name sounds pretty innocuous, but white-nose syndrome (WNS) is rapidly becoming very bad news for bats; in just a couple of years, hundreds of thousands of hibernating bats in the northeastern United States with this fungus have died. Among the most affected are the little brown bat and the endangered Indiana bat.

26 Mar 2009