Navigation Links
Death in the bat caves: UC Davis experts call for action against fast-moving disease
Date:2/2/2011

A team of wildlife experts led by UC Davis called today for a national fight against a new fungus that has killed more than 1 million bats in the eastern United States and is spreading fast throughout North America.

"If we lose bats, we lose keystone species in some communities, predators that consume enormous numbers of insects, and beautiful wildlife species that are important parts of North America's biodiversity," said Janet Foley, a UC Davis professor of veterinary medicine at the Center for Vectorborne Diseases.

Foley and her co-authors' call to action appears today online in the Early View section of the journal Conservation Biology.

Bats are essential members of natural ecosystems, hunting insects, pollinating plants and scattering seeds, Foley said. "Bats do the jobs at night that birds do during the day. But because they are most active in darkness, few people are aware of how many bats live around us and how valuable they are."

The new fungal disease has been named "white-nose syndrome." Scientists think the fungus, which normally lives in soil, somehow traveled to cave walls where bats hibernate in winter and began infecting the animals' facial skin and wing membranes.

Sick bats appear to be coated with frost. They fly more than normal, which uses up fat reserves, and also lose water at a faster rate than normal. Disoriented, they move to exposed places, such as cave entrances.

Eventually, they starve, freeze or die of dehydration.

The first infected bats were found by a cave explorer near Albany, N.Y., in February 2006. Since then, infected bats have been found northward to Ontario and Quebec in Canada, south to Tennessee and west to Oklahoma. The authors write that they expect white-nose syndrome to cross the Rocky Mountains and enter California in the next several years.

There are 23 species of bats in California that hibernate in caves, and so are vulnerable to white-nose syndrome.

Foley said the fungus does not appear to be a threat to people or animals other than bats.

The National Wildlife Health Center, a program of the U.S. Geological Survey, identified the white-nose fungus, Geomyces destructans, in 2007.

"In the three years since its discovery, white-nose syndrome has changed the focus of bat conservation in North America," said Foley. "A national response is required, and our epidemiological roadmap is designed to help emerging state and national plans to combat white-nose syndrome across the United States."

Foley and her collaborators developed their recommendations at a workshop in Colorado in August funded by the National Park Service.

The authors' recommendations include: an outbreak investigation network that would establish a standard diagnosis and case definitions; bat population monitoring; and improved public awareness of the problem. "Scientists, policy makers and members of the public will all have a voice in the coming debate over the best course of action," Foley said. They also call for further studies of chemical and biological agents known to kill the fungus but not yet proven safe for bats, as well as study of treatments for similar diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Foley
jefoley@ucdavis.edu
530-754-9740
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Cell death pathway linked to mitochondrial fusion
2. Deaths from anesthesia during childbirth plummet
3. Poor response to anti-anemia drug predicts higher risk of heart disease or death
4. Comprehensive report on sudden oak death
5. Team of scientists predicts continued death of forests in southwestern US due to climate change
6. Ancient wind held secret of life and death
7. New report suggests why risk for sudden infant death syndrome is greater in babies of mothers who smoke
8. Glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells
9. Impending death for paper coupons?
10. High death and disability rates due to fractures in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe
11. Study links normal function of protein, not its build up inside cells, to death of neurons
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Death in the bat caves: UC Davis experts call for action against fast-moving disease
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health ... and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving ... Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS previously ... U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... its high level of EMR usage in an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Anti-Theft System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... webinar in the series will explore the laboratory testing for DIC in order to ... serious hypercoagulable disorder which can occur in hospitalized patients resulting in a high degree ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , April 25, 2017 ... ("EpiVax") has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to an ... disease and allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, ... human immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Annie De ... to intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease therapy, ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Leaders of Quorum ... will be featured in multiple sessions at this week’s Association of Clinical Research ... to best practices in clinical research. , "We are excited to present subject matter ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The 2017 Colorado Manufacturing Awards celebrates Innovation ... and well as the first-year award for 2017 Manufacturing Women of the Year. ... by CompanyWeek and Manufacturers Edge, among other sponsors. , The Colorado Manufacturing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: