Monday, February 18, 2008

Eastern Bats in Trouble

Well, I was currently in the middle of writing on a different subject when I was somewhat sidetracked by an article that I ran across in our local Sunday (2/17) paper – The Virginian-Pilot. It seems that bats located in New York and Vermont are mysterically dying by the thousands. At this point, scientists have no clue as to what is causing these cave dwellers to perish. The only symptom found on the dead or dying bats is a white ring of fungus around their noses – hence the name “White Nose Syndrome” was born.

This syndrome has affected at least four species of bats thus far and the numbers of deaths are enough that many are worried about the economic implications to local crops and orchards. Without the bats to keep balance, insects could potentially cause widespread damage to the local crops there.

Here is a link to the article in its entirety: Scientist in the dark over bat die-off cause

Frogs, bees, bats....what's next?

Here in Virginia, according to VDGIF, there are 14 species of bats. The Little Brown Bat and the Eastern Big-Eared Bat are the most common ones in my particular area…and BTW, the Virginia Big Eared bat is the official state bat of Virginia. It is a federally protected endangered species and is only confirmed in four states (VA, West VA, Kentucky and NC).

Here is a picture of our state bat:

Personally, I have been thinking about putting up a bat house on my property once I research it a little more. From what I know so far, bats in my area can be attracted to bat houses if the house is located properly. I’m sure this will spark some interesting conversation with the neighbors. I can see the neighbors talking now – “What is he doing now?”; and my wife…don’t get me started with that; and the in-laws… Nobody around me understands the method of my MADNESS!! LOL!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Hi Alan,

Your post made me giggle about your ideas for a bat house. But I understand - why NOT? Bats only cause a scare if they reside in your attic :o)

I lived in Maryland until 2002 and saw bats regularly but I have not seen one here in NC yet. I wonder what the cause of death is you talked about...chemically related, probably.

Interesting post.