A Race To Solve White-Nose Syndrome F...

A Race To Solve White-Nose Syndrome Fatal To Bats

There are 10 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Jul 6, 2008, titled A Race To Solve White-Nose Syndrome Fatal To Bats. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

But one recent weekday night, the group setting up their nets and high-frequency acoustical receivers near a large swamp in Sessions Woods didn't have recreation in mind.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Keith Coughlin

Cheshire, CT

#1 Jul 6, 2008
With all the marsh & swamp mosquito spraying going on in the tri-state area, you have to consider a correlation between "white nose syndrome" and "West Nile" prevention. If the spray kills mosquitos it must make bats sick at the very least.
Stuck in Burlington

Bethel Island, CA

#2 Jul 6, 2008
Just add this story to the Avery Doninger cr@pola and the Catholic Broadcasting radio tower controversy.
Yeah, Burlington has definitely gone to the BATS!
Nice to see that I'm getting so much for my bloated property tax bill!

United States

#3 Jul 6, 2008
Now I can see why the Courant is having problems, look at the front page story. Kids must be running the newspaper.

United States

#4 Jul 6, 2008
What's killing the bats?--Probably the same thing killing the bees....
Mary D Smith

New Albany, OH

#5 Jul 7, 2008
The importance of this research can not be understated. These species of bats eat a significant amount of insects including those which damage crops. The loss of large number of bats will greatly effect agriculture, increasing use of pesticides, and the cost of putting food on the table. And this speaks nothing about the other problems of the increased use of pesticides. If this disease spreads to the many species of bats which pollinate plants (such as those in SW United States) the results will be even more catastrophic. Bats are not the ugly, get tangled in your hair, dirty animals that many people believe them to be. They are important in every ecosystem where they live and need and deserve our protection.

Danielson, CT

#6 Jul 8, 2008
I have had a bat house for several years in my yard. This year the bats came as usual with more bats with them then last year.

The bats were gone after about a month which was very unusal and alarming to me. Could these bats have have white nose sydrone? I have found no dead or dying bats.
Buford Pruitt

Branford, FL

#7 Jul 9, 2008

I appreciated reading about the WNS conference; however, I am still ignorant of what conference attendees decided to do other than continue doing what they were doing before the conference. I thought the conference was to be more about what the group would do as a team, especially what new things they would attempt.

The published 3-day conference summary and your article were complete disappointments as both only briefly mentioned what researchers had been doing all along. Although they brought up Geomyces, the Darling hypothesis and the bat wing fungal damage hypothesis, neither addressed my pre-conference concerns.

If I am to give informed opinions as to whether the NSS should spend its money on WNS research, I need to know a lot more about that research than the either provided.

I was extremely disappointed to learn that researchers do not definitely plan to collect stats on bats entering their hibernating roosts this coming late fall and early winter. According to your article, this is "possible." Only just "possible?"

I am astounded, because frankly I think it is a must-do, and it appears to be one of the most powerful research projects that can be done to document adverse physical effects to WNS-afflicted bats.

Why was this not identified as a requirement? How can the other hypotheses mentioned be tested if this is not done? Answer: They cannot! This would be an excellent expenditure of NSS research funds.

There is no mention that research is planned to test the hypothesis that the bats' damaged wings are a result of being unable to heal after being coated with the white fungus. Instead, your article states that it is "assumed" to be true. In this case, "assuming" means "definitely" it is true.

This is a lapse in judgment, because if it turns out that the assumption is false, all subsequent hypotheses founded on that assumption will have been built on a house of cards. I will recommend against spending any NSS funds founded upon this assumption.

And why is that assumption even being made? Is it a shortcut due to a lack of funding? The hypothesis must be tested or ignored. I would be in favor of NSS funding being spent on testing this idea.

I still don't know if there is a plan to test the pesticide hypothesis. Pesticide testing is being done, but that alone is far from testing a theory. I would like to know more about how the data will be handled. I don't see how that data could be used to test the pesticide hypothesis unless pesticide data is related to measured physical parameters such as body weight upon entering hibernacula.

How is Darling's hypothesis going to be tested? By collecting data from this year's bats entering hibernation and leaving hibernation in Connecticut vs Vermont? But wait! Pre-hibernation stats will only "possibly" be made. How can Darling's hypothesis be tested if pre-hibernating stats are not measured?

How will the Geomyces hypothesis be tested? What is Geomyces' growth rates within the (measured) hibernacula winter temperature range? How does that compare to the actual severity of Geomyces infestation of bats hibernating within hibernacula vs closer to cave entrances? The Geomyces hypothesis needs to be tested via in-cave and laboratory studies. Who will do this? I would look favorably upon NSS research funds being spent on testing the Geomyces hypothesis.

I conclude that the conference was merely a hand-wringing exercise and a waste of money.

I don't even yet know if Canadians have learned whether WNS has crossed the border. Has it? They were present at the conference but their findings were not reported.

I have learned thru the grapevine that other attendees were also disappointed with the conference for some of the same reasons that I outlined above.

Buford Pruitt, Jr., Chairman
NSS Nature Preserves Committee


#8 Jul 16, 2008
Colony Collapse Disorder among the honeybees seems to paralle the recent bat die-off, and honeybees construct specialized honeycombs in the shape of a hexagon.

Bats use sonar to ascertain their environment - including their six-legged meals (mosquitos)?

Certain microorganisms are shaped or arrange themselves hexagonally.

666 - Is this coincidence? As an electrosensitive who has been deathly ill and unable to function since wireless technology took off, I sincerely doubt it.

Researchers had better turn their focus to exposure to EMF/RF before they run out of time.


#9 Jul 16, 2008
By the way, if you don't believe that exposure to EMF/RF affects the immune system, google the Bioinitiative Report.
Tom Hagood

United States

#10 Mar 24, 2010
If you are following the spread of White Nose Syndrome, you may be aware that WNS is now in Tennessee and will likely move into my state, Alabama next Winter.

I am a former caver who has followed this story and I have concerns and information about the the possibility of WNS being spread by recreational caving. Read more on my website @ ilovebats.org

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