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View Diary: The Daily Bucket: Fruit Bats by the Sea (95 comments)

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  •  I'll share what I learn about local bat species (8+ / 0-)

    when I use the detector. It's the only way. Bats move so fast, and in low light, visual ID is impossible, even getting a sense of size.

    Very sad to hear your bats have still not appeared. I've been reading what there is about what's known, which isn't much, but a couple of facts emerge that are slightly hopeful. It looks like the fungus prefers high elevation (cold) in southerly states, so bats might not be completely wiped out over large areas, and a reservoir might survive to repopulate. The recent confirmed counties are more to the south than the NE where this thing started, but the distribution is mostly along the Appalachian axis. What is very worrisome is that there are a lot of northern, ie cold states uninfected so far but are extremely vulnerable. Not to mention the entire western half of the country.

    Another possibly hopeful fact is that European bats don't die from this same fungus. In fact some think it came from there. If their bats are resistant, maybe ours could develop that too, if populations don't completely disappear. Here's a paper discussing the European connection and some other aspects.

    Maybe I'm out in left field, hoping unreasonably. The magnitude of this thing is just so horrendous, the effects will be disastrous if it continues. It's a mirror of what's happening with the bees, but with a different cause.

    •  I hadn't heard about the fungus preferring higher (7+ / 0-)

      elevations. That does create a sliver of hope.

      I did know that European bats seem to be immune to the fungus and that may explain why some colonies here are completely wiped out while other apparently have a few survivors. If they do carry some gene that protects them and pass it on to their offspring then eventually they may make a comeback, someday. But it will take many years for them to bounce back.

      The similarities between the bats and bees both having simultaneous problems makes me wonder if there might not be some kind of connection there as well. Obviously the bees aren't suffering from wns but who's to say how it might all  connect somewhere further down. There is so much that we don't understand about either one that anything's possible. They may both be warning signs of worse things to come. Canaries in the mine shaft.

      But there's always room for hope, for the bats, bees, and the whole planet, though for me, hope gets harder to muster up every year.

      Just give me some truth. John Lennon

      by burnt out on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:46:06 PM PDT

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    •  I noticed on that map you posted (6+ / 0-)

      that the southern and eastern boundaries of the infection are very sharp while the western and northern boundaries are patchy.  The implication is that WNS is not invading the southeastern coastal plain.  If this holds up then that could be a big help in eventual recovery if immunity evolves.  Southeastern populations could function as refuges and hopefully eventually repopulate area devastated by WNS

      "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

      by matching mole on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 04:07:52 AM PDT

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