This time Batman needs help … with whitenose syndrome
by: Junior Andrade, Azariah Boyd, Kasey Dietzman, Zachary Fanara (Stonehill College Evolution Fall 2017)
Many people forget that bats are not just there for inspiring big-name superheroes. Bats play a critical role in pollination of many commercial products throughout the world such as bananas and peaches just to name a few. Bats also play an essential role in crop growth by maintaining the populations of common pests. However, bats in North America are in a time of crisis and it all began with fungus. Pseudogymnoascus destructans (P. destructans), a cold loving fungus, is able to grow in hibernating bats when their bodies reach a temperature of 39 to 68 degrees. This fungus grows and makes the bats ill and spiked a recent decline in North American bats. The disease was named White-nose syndrome due to the fungal growth resulting in white substance on the muzzle of the bats. White-nose syndrome has specifically hurt the North American little brown myotis bat which has been driven to the endangered species list in under ten years due to the syndrome.