White-nose syndrome killing little brown bats

Capital News Service
LANSING — Little brown bat populations are unlikely to recover from a wide-spread fungal disease anytime soon, according to a recent study. And if other bat populations follow suit, say goodbye to your margaritas! Bats are one of the largest global pollinators of agave – the plant that tequila is made from – and are diminishing quickly in the U.S.. “White-nose syndrome is the biggest wildlife catastrophe in America in the last 100 years,” said Rob Mies, executive director of the Organization for Bat Conservation – a national advocacy group focused on the preservation of bats and based in the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills. Although the report focused only on little brown bats, the model created by the study could be applied to all bat species affected by white-nose syndrome, said Wayne Thogmartin, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist and one of the lead researchers on the study.