Animals flying bat

Published on October 16th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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Bat Die-Off Could Seriously Threaten U.S. Agriculture

flying bat

If you haven’t heard, there have been massive die-offs of bats across the U.S. recently. Scientists have been warning us about the main cause, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), for years… but who listens to scientists?

With WNS, a fungus leaves a white substance all over bats disrupting hibernation patterns, forcing bats to use up all of their fat reserves and leading to starvation. Doesn’t sound pleasant.

When WNS goes through bat communities, it is causing about 80-100% mortality.

“The disease is absolutely devastating, it’s unprecedented,” says biologist Mylea Bayless from Bat Conservation International. “It’s causing population declines in wildlife that we haven’t seen since the passenger pigeon.”

How Can a Bat Die-Off Hurt You?

Bats are a key natural pest control for our country’s crops. The annual value of local bats in a handful of counties in Texas was found to be $740,000 in 2006 because of their pest control services. That equaled about 29% of the local cotton crop.

Like honey bees (also suffering a massive die-off), bats are also important for pollination and spreading of seeds.

In Arizon, bats are the main pollinators of three large cactus species that are critical to the region’s ecosystem.

These bats are maybe highly invisible to people and even scary to many, but they are also critical to the ecosystems we live in and live off of.

For more on this story, I got this info from an excellent piece by Bruce Kennedy of Daily Finance, “An ‘Unprecedented’ Bat Die-Off Could Devastate U.S. Agriculture.” There is more on the topic over there.

I have to say, with our long history of devaluing the ecosystems and species we rely on to live and to live comfortably, it is great to see a piece like this getting publish on a major financial site like this.

Photo Credit: bat, by flickr user tarotastic under a CC license

Related Stories:
1) Military Base Working to Save Two Rare Bat Species
2) I hate people. A Protected Colony of Rare Fruit Bats Gunned Down for Kicks




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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406097954 Rita

    Firs of all bbcor have pretty much the same amuont of pop(because of the regulations they all follow). The only thing to grade them on is balance, vibration, durability, and the sizee of the sweet spot.I hate the DEMARINI bats!They have good balance but the sweet spot is puny. God for bid you get jamed because all you get is a swinging bunt. CAT-5 is alright. Feels good in my hands, makes nice sound, and a good sized sweet spot. It has virtualy no vibration. But it is nothing special. I have used all kinds of EXOGRIDS and they are my favorite. because they are slighly more top heavy tham other bats, it seems to give me more power. I have never heard of one breaking. and if i get jammed I can still have warning track power. The Easton SURGE and OMEN both feel the same to me. good balance. not to much vibration. but What keeps me from using them is the sound, they sound like a weak fart when hit with it.

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