Virginia scientists have discovered dead bats in Hamilton Cave in southwest Virginia.  The bats have died of white-nose syndrome which makes the dead bats look like they stuck their noses in a vat of flour.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

That white gunk was a fungus believed to cause a torturous disease in bats called white-nose syndrome.

In 2009, when scientists last checked Hamilton Cave in far Southwest Virginia, all the bats looked fine. But the mysterious fungus, new to science when it appeared in New York in 2006, is spreading quickly.

White-nose has killed more than 1 million bats from New Hampshire to Tennessee, including thousands in Virginia. At some Northeast caves, it has wiped out more than 90 percent of the bats, leaving behind little brown bones like pine needles.

“This is like the Great Plague for bats,” said Orndorff, who works with Hobson for the state Natural Heritage Program, a conservation office.

The disease has caused “the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history” and could make entire species of bats go extinct, experts said in a 2009 statement.

Scientists are comparing this onslaught to the devastation of the buffalo, the passenger pigeon and the American chestnut tree.

And all the bats want to do is eat the mosquitoes that make us miserable and the bugs that damage our crops and gardens.

Any time extinction is discussed, people should get nervous, especially when   a mosquito predator is on the extinction list.  This disease, especially if it spreads to other species, could cause extreme problems with mosquitoes as well as with insects who gnaw up crops. 

Any disease that is compared to the plague sounds fairly dangerous.  We should be prepared to keep an eye on this disease because if enough bats die, mankind will most definitely be affected.  There are already food shortages around the world. 


10 Thoughts to “Virginia Bats Die of White Nose Syndrome”

  1. marinm

    Good story. Poor bats. 🙁

    1. @Marin, we certainly don’t need fewer bats. I had my son put up a bat box several years ago. It is fairly high up in a tree but I have never seen any residents. I guess they turned up their noses. Those of us who live anywhere near Bull Run get over run with mosquitoes once warm weather hits. All bats are welcome.

      If this disease spreads, it could very well hurt crops. Things are dicey in the crop department as it is.

  2. Steve Thomas

    Bats shouldn’t be using cocaine.

  3. marinm

    @Steve, rumor is Mr. Glenn Beck will somehow pin this on Obama tonight. Stay tuned! 👿

    @MH, nice. Same with spiders. While I’m not fond of them and my wife is terrified… They serve a use in nature.

  4. I KNEW someone was going to do a cocaine joke. I was, but, I resisted. Something about too much partying….

  5. Red Dawn

    Can’t sore with the Eagles if you stay up with the ……?!? Bats? 😉

  6. Red Dawn

    Soar…lol…crap…they all crap the same

  7. @Red Dawn, wrong end of the bat!!!!

  8. It IS too bad about the bats. I like bats. I remember the giant fruit bats that we had at Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa.
    They would roost in the trees. Airmen would escort their dates from bus stop past those trees. Then, at the opportune time, they would clap or yell and provoke the bats into flying off, thereby scaring their dates.

    Later, we sailors would go steal said dates from those idiotic airman. 😉

  9. Red Dawn

    Moon- Nice play on my fumble!! Love it!! 🙂

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