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Originally posted by BiggerPicture
...by North Americans if this outbreak isn't contained!
already, thousands of caves in 33 states have been sealed off, but the disease continues to claim millions of North American bats' lives.
it is potentially zoonotic new fungus - it CAN infect & survive on human in cold/temperate conditions but not on humans in their artificially warmed dwellings.
Alan Hicks with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has described the impact as "unprecedented" and "the gravest threat to bats ... ever seen." The mortality rate in some caves has exceeded 90 percent.A once common species, little brown myotis, has suffered a major population collapse and may be at risk of rapid extinction in the northeastern US within 20 years from mortality associated with WNS. There are currently 9 hibernating bat species confirmed with infection of Geomyces destructans and at least 5 of those species have suffered major mortality. Some of those species are already listed as endangered on the US endangered species list, including the Indiana bat, whose primary hibernaculum in New York has been affected.The long-term impact of the reduction in bat populations may be an increase in insects, possibly even leading to crop damage or other economic impact in New England.
There will likely be an increase in crop damages, shortages, and increase in INFECTIOUS DISEASES spread through increased populations of biting insects that we rely on bats to keep under control.
edit on 25-3-2012 by BiggerPicture because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm worried that so many people are making light of this. The OP might have blown it a bit by the choice of words for the headline the first time through, but the issue really IS this serious.
Originally posted by DaughterOfARevolver
reply to post by BiggerPicture
its sad but if the bats go we still have spiders and other critters that eat bugs... assuming this is a natural fungus and no human involvement, I feel for the poor bats but I do believe in letting nature take Its course, if they can't adapt then they weren't ment to be...they aren't the first to become extinct and certainly not the last....Darwinism mabey?.. ;-(
Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by autopat51
Not all lifeforms are important. Look at bees and snakes. Useless. Also, OWSers.
Op if the disease cant live in human habitat why should we care?
No matter where you live -- in a brick Philadelphia row house, the sprawling suburbs of Dallas or an apartment in Seattle -- you depend, more than most of us know, on honeybees raised in California or Florida. The bees have been dying in unusually large numbers, and scientists are trying to figure out why. "One in every three bites of food you eat comes from a plant, or depends on a plant, that was pollinated by an insect, most likely a bee," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp of Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Bat colonies have been decimated throughout the northeastern US, and the syndrome has spread into mid-atlantic states and northward into Canada. The Forest Service estimates that the die-off from white-nose syndrome means that at least 2.4 million pounds of bugs (1.1 million kg) will go uneaten and become a financial burden to farmers. Furthermore, the disease could threaten an already endangered species, such as Indiana bats and the big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus), the official state bat of Virginia. Comparisons have been raised to colony collapse disorder, another poorly-understood phenomenon resulting in the abrupt disappearance of Western honey bee colonies, and with chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease linked with worldwide declines in amphibian populations.
White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation solutions.
increased populations of biting insects