Essay about White Nose Syndrome in Bats

Essay about White Nose Syndrome in Bats

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The population of bats in the United States is facing a serious threat of extinction due to the outbreak of a deadly fungus called Deomyces destructans. The fungus is nicknamed White-Nose Syndrome, after the white fungus that typically appears on the infected bats noses and wings. Other signs and symptoms of White Nose Syndrome are white fungus on the ears and tail as well, bats flying during the day in the middle of winter, bats clustered near the entrance to a hibernacle or cave, and general abnormal behavior for a hibernating bat. Scientifically the fungus has been identified as, Deomyces destructans. The fungus itself causes damage to their connective tissues, muscles, and skin. It also can disrupt many of their physiological processes. Typically during a hibernation period bats will wake up on average every 10 to 20 days. An infected bat on the other hand will wake up every 3 to four days which causes them to burn up their fat stores twice as fast. When they wake up they are both dehydrated and hungry, around 90% of the bats actually die from starvation due to a lack of insects for food in the winter season. WNS is transmitted from bat to bat and that is why any contact between an infected bat from one cave population with a non-infected bat from another population has serious consequences.
Throughout the Northeastern United States, since the winter of 2006, millions of cases of White-Nose Syndrome have been documented. Since its original discovery White-Nose Syndrome, WNS, has spread rapidly throughout the northeast, killing off record numbers of hibernating bat populations. Since its first detection in 2006 WNS has killed over 5.7 million bats in this area. Currently WNS has been documented in sixteen states...

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...of bats with Geomyces destructans causes white-nose syndrome". Nature. 480 (7377): 376-8.
Puechmaille, S.J. 2010. "White-Nose Syndrome Fungus in Bat, France". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 16 (2): 290-293.
Times-Tribune. 2012. Biologists experiment with treatments for white-nose syndrome. February 23, 2012.
WatchBucknell. "DeeAnn Reeder White Nose Syndrome Press Release." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. .

"White Nose Syndrome in Bats." Web. .
"White-nose Syndrome." Bat Conservation. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. .
"White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)." USGS National Wildlife Health Center -. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. .

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