Bats in big trouble

Dessicaria

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
44
It would indeed be a disaster if many species of bats go extinct. They eat tons of mosquitoes, and some species are important pollinators and seed dispersers.
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
268
It's disconcerting to see widespread pathogens killing entire orders and classes (e.g. amphibians). It adds on to anthropogenic biodiversity reduction and fuels the sixth mass extinction.

I really dislike the implications of all this. A future of generalist species and destabilized ecosystems? On any level, not the comfortably diverse world humans grew up in.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,399
I work in caves, have a bat colony on my front porch, and feed nectar-feeding bats on my back porch. I obviously have a soft spot for bats.

This white-nose syndrome is of great concern, not just for the damage it's doing, but for the fact that we know so little about it. It is ravaging bat colonies in some parts of the country, and will have a long-term impact on many species of bats. However, there are some things that are known about it that give a little bit of hope. First, the fungus involved requires low temperatures to survive (68 F or lower). This will most likely limit the spread to bats that hibernate in cold regions. (Not all bats hibernate - some migrate to warmer climes during winter, and some regions, such as where I live, have cave temps a little above the threshold temperatures.) Also, this disease appears to be endemic in Europe, and bats there have either become resistant to it or were not susceptible in the first place. It was most likely introduced into the area around Albany New York by caving visitors from Europe who carried the spores on their cave gear. It will spread through North America over the next several years - no way to stop it - but hopefully some resistant populations of bats will emerge. Bat numbers will no doubt drop dramatically, but hopefully some will eventually recover. (Bats have a low reproductive rate, so recovery will be slow at best.)
 

Kathy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
852
Bats are absolutely amazing creatures. Sometimes sitting in the yard at night I will see one, ever here in the city of Phoenix. It saddens me to see this happening. Thank you for all the insight in the above post. Very interesting!
 

codykrr

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
3,113
I mentioned this a while back on here...and very little people seemed to care. It would be devastating to loose them. I dont think people are aware at how much they actually do for the environment.
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
733
They seem much less prevalent here in nw La. in recent years :(. Would that this might somehow take a positive turn!

Well, about to go pull a passerine survey along the river. I hope to see a few this morning but not holding my breath. They seem uncommon at best at that locality.
 

groovyspider

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
257
is it just me or isnt there alot of animals all the sudden in trouble. like the bees dissapearing. bats both of these animals are very important as said earlier for pollenators and mosquitos. if we keep losing animals its goona end reall bad for us in the long run.
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
268
is it just me or isnt there alot of animals all the sudden in trouble. like the bees dissapearing. bats both of these animals are very important as said earlier for pollenators and mosquitos. if we keep losing animals its goona end reall bad for us in the long run.
http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html

If you ever wanted to know how it was like when that asteroid hit 65 million years ago, well, here you go. The situation, in terms of biodiversity, might even be worse.
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
3,346
Thanks for the link Anubis77...I admit a bit of ignorance to the details behind past mass extinctions.

I think that part of the reason humans are so blase about the plight of the bats is that we don't have near the contact with the natural world that we did in the past. Semi-literate farmers from decades past seemed to have a much better understanding of nature at large then many graduates that I've met. Hell, I know plenty of people that have never been camping?!?

Bill S, I have a soft spot for these guys as well...my wife and I put out water dishes when the temps. get out of hand...we lost several of the colony in our breezeway when summer temps hit 90F last year.
 

ZergFront

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
1,959
Maybe they can find ones that seem to be more immune and start a breeding program. Like what they're doing now with the Tazmanian devils.
 

DireWolf0384

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
783
I would have to say that Bats are one of the most important animals in fighting populations of insects that would pose a serious problem for humans. At the rate they kill mosquitoes, and other insects, they are a necessity.
 
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