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Deadly Bat Disease Discovered in Western North Carolina

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posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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This is a fairly new discovery that seems to be spreading, this one would be the first time in NC. My state, VA, is also one of a handful of states that has reported this fungus having affected the bat population. I will have to check in the spring to see if it has impacted the population of bats that stays in one of my outbuildings. The bats are very effective in keeping the insect population down to tolerable levels, especially here next to the river.


citizentimes.com

The discovery of bats infected with white-nose syndrome in a cave at Grandfather Mountain and an old Avery County mine marks the arrival of the deadly disease in North Carolina, wildlife officials announced today.

The infection, named for the white fungus that forms on the animals’ faces and wings, has already killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the Northeast, where it was first discovered in 2006. It’s been called the most serious threat to wildlife in a century.


A couple of related links for those interested ..

en.wikipedia.org...

www.nwhc.usgs.gov...




posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 
National Geographic magazine has an article on white nose fungus this month.

Here is a link:

NatGeo Bat Crash

Star and Flag!



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


Thanks, I will check out the NatGeo piece....

I found another article on this discovery in NC..


goblueridge.net

...Although scientists have yet to fully understand white-nose syndrome, current knowledge indicates it’s likely caused by a newly discovered fungus, Geomyces destructans , which often grows into white tufts on the muzzles of infected bats, hence the disease’s name. The first evidence of this fungus was collected in a New York state cave in 2006. Since then, it appears to have spread north into Canada and as far south as Tennessee, which reported its first occurrence last winter, and now North Carolina. ...



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by JacKatMtn
reply to post by butcherguy
 


Thanks, I will check out the NatGeo piece....

I found another article on this discovery in NC..


goblueridge.net

...Although scientists have yet to fully understand white-nose syndrome, current knowledge indicates it’s likely caused by a newly discovered fungus, Geomyces destructans , which often grows into white tufts on the muzzles of infected bats, hence the disease’s name. The first evidence of this fungus was collected in a New York state cave in 2006. Since then, it appears to have spread north into Canada and as far south as Tennessee, which reported its first occurrence last winter, and now North Carolina. ...



Terrence McKenna believed that fungus was from space... And if the fungus originated in a New York cave, well I couldn't think of a better state for space fungus testing.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


This was inevitable.


I've been tracking this terrible thing from nearly the beginning.

Frankly, there have been mostly *crickets* on this subject... Not sure why?

Mystery Disease Forcing Bats to Extinction: White Nose Syndrome (WNS)


Originally posted by loam
MORE:



Link.





Whitenose syndrome continues its steady path across the US

It has been two months since I last wrote an update about whitenose syndrome and the news in that short time has not been good. First, the fungus that has been wiping out bat populations along the eastern US spread north into Quebec and Ontario. Then, it was found in the Great Smoky Mountains and other caves in Tennessee followed by the first reports from Missouri. Just yesterday, there was a report of the presence of the fungus that causes whitenose syndrome in the western part of Oklahoma which, if true, would take us clearly off the map that has been tracking the disease.

The news has also not been good for particular species of bats. Missouri is home to at least 12 species of bats, including two endangered species, the gray and Indiana bats. Indiana bats are fairing poorly against whitenose syndrome. And the gray bat, which was close to being recovered from the endangered species list, is now at great risk of extinction again since 95% of all gray bats hibernate in just a few caves in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama.

While the scientific and bat communities have accurately predicted the path that the disease would spread, this year’s accounts have far surpassed expectations for how far and fast the spread would go. States have been responding by closing their caves to the public, but since the fungus is also, and perhaps most likely, spread from bat to bat, restricting human traffic may do little to stop the spread. All that can really be done is for scientists to continue their research as quickly as possible in an effort to determine whether there is anything that can be done to prevent the devastating die-off of bats.






posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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The black plague was spread via rats.
Bats are often referred to as flying rats...

But it wasn't the rats killing people... it was the fleas on the rats.

What are the dangers of this fungus in human contact?
Humans are not the best fungus defenders...



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by loam
 



DARN, DARN, DARN


Well that explains why I have not been seeing "my" bats flying around the house at dusk any more.

I sure hope the bat population develops immunity and SOON.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 


It is unlikely.

This really does look like the end of the bats.


Our response has been absolutely pathetic.

90% mortality.


And most Americans seem oblivious to it-- that is, until they see how it will affect them at the supermarket and at home with the rise of insect vector based diseases.


Of course, by then it will be too late.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:25 AM
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First heard about this a few years ago as I believe it was first discovered here in New York.It was probably already more widespread than here when it was discovered.My first thought as I have heard it's not a problem for humans,is that the reduction in the bat population will lead to an increase in mosquitos and other disease carrying insects.I wonder if we will see an increase in mosquito borne illness?Interesting how it seems to follow the applachian mountians in it's spread inland.I suppose that figures with all the caves in the mountains.Better stock up on off or cutters.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by crimvelvet
 


It is unlikely.

This really does look like the end of the bats.


Our response has been absolutely pathetic.

90% mortality.


And most Americans seem oblivious to it-- that is, until they see how it will affect them at the supermarket and at home with the rise of insect vector based diseases.


Of course, by then it will be too late.


Some bats survive,they are either immune or resitant to the fungus.Over time they will breed a resistant strain of bat.They will come back stronger than before although it will take some time to get back to the former population.Because the insect population will expand during that time when the bats come back they will breed to fit the size of the food source.When that shrinks because of the size of the bat population.The bat population will experience a downsizing to fit the source of food.eventually it will all balance out and get back to normal.No worries.In the mean time more bugs.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by 9Cib27
 



What are the dangers of this fungus in human contact? Humans are not the best fungus defenders...


Apparently it isn't a problem for humans yet, as humans are the ones (spelunkers and scientists) that are spreading the fungus from cave to cave.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by loam
 



This really does look like the end of the bats.

Maybe...maybe not.

The honeybees seemed to have come back from what some said would be their certain demise. Not that we should just sit back and wait, we need to be proactive and try to solve the problem if possible.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


The honeybee population didn't experience a 90% mortality rate either.

Currently, in some states, bats are effectively no more. Even at the height of CCD, many hives remained unaffected.

This situation is MUCH worse.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 04:47 PM
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Here's another article on the NC bat news..


Fungal disease threatens NC bats

Scientists with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission said Wednesday that a disease spreading among bats has been discovered in western North Carolina, threatening the state’s bat population.

White-nose syndrome, which is likely caused by a newly discovered fungus called Geomyces destructans, has already killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the eastern United States, including Virginia and Tennessee, since its discovery in 2006.




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