Monday, February 04, 2008

From Bees To Bats

The New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation has released a new press report on the bat disease: Bat Die-Off Prompts Investigation

"Until researchers understand the cause and how it is spread, state environmental officials and caving organizations are asking people not to enter caves or mines with bats until further notice to avoid the possible transfer of the disease from cave to cave.

"What we've seen so far is unprecedented,'' said Alan Hicks, DEC's bat specialist. "Most bat researchers would agree that this is the gravest threat to bats they have ever seen."

Eastern pipistrelle, northern long-eared and little brown bats are also dying. Little brown bats, the most common hibernating species in the state, have sustained the largest number of deaths."

This is really alarming to me, even more so than CCD with the bees. Most people simply fear bats but, like bees, they are much more crucial to our environment than people realize.

The brown bat can catch and eat up to 600 mosquitos an hour and do a fabulous job of keeping our populations of Japanese Beetles under control. Their diets also include gnats, flies, moths, midges and mayflies.

It may be a very long summer of crop loss and bug bites.

And with a little research, I've found that I'm not the only one with ants in January. Seriously, how long can we ignore the signs that nature is literally throwing at us?!

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