Bats Suffer White Nose
Declining Bat Populations. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.?While the image of the bat has been used in many horror films as something that strikes terror in people the reality is that bats are an extremely important to farmers in controlling insects and in pollination. But officials are seeing a massive reduction in the numbers of bats.
FROSCHAUER: The most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history.
That’s Ann Froschauer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who was taking part in a special event at the Ag Department focusing on bats. She says they have been losing millions of bats every year.
FROSCHAUER: Mount Aeolus Cave in Vermont historically had about 300-thousand bats in it. We went in in 2010 and there were 35 bats left in this site. There was about an inch thick carpet of decaying bat carcasses and bones on the floor of the cave.
Loss of habitat has been cited as one reason for the declining numbers but a fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome has also been identified. At this rate the little brown bat species could become regionally extinct in 10 years and according to Froschauer...?
FROSCHAUER: This could cost American farmers $22-billion dollars a year.
This is an interesting story that we we will keep our eyes on.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.