Name Species in Mind
The other white-nose Issue
A compilation of data by This book was created with a great deal of help from scientists working with bats and the White-Nose Syndrome fungus problem they face. A special thanks to Dr. Thomas Kunz and Nathan Fuller from Boston Universityâ€™s Batlab for all the data and the oppor tunity to work with them. These scientists spend night and day tr ying to help out these bats, and for that, I am forever grateful to them. I hope this book inspires you to do your par t in helping bats as well. To learn more, read on.
the real White-Nose issue White-Nose Syndrome (or the abbreviation WNS) is a recently discovered disease that af fects several species of hibernating bats in the United States. Since it was first identified in the winter of 2006, the disease has already spread rapidly across many states and scientists estimate the syndrome is responsible for the death of at least one million bats. The pathogen associated with the disease is a newly discovered fungus species known as Geomyces destructans, and infects bats by invading hair follicles all over their body.
the latin name for a fungus Geomyces destructans (the Latin name) is a fungus of an inconclusive origination, though most scientists believe it came from Europe. It is also believed to be a morph of another Geomyces, and hence categorized as its own species. However, it is cer tain that it is a impor tant factor in the destruction of bat populations in the Nor theast United States. The Geomyces are keratinophilic fungi that has the ability to degrade hairs and nails. Luckily for us, Geomyces destuctan has no ef fect on humans, and has only been found to af fect the bat population.
GEOmyces destructans Kingdom
(reproduce by fission)
(fruiting body exposed during spores)
Temperature 100 90
The forcast is perfect for Geomyces destructans.
80 70 60 50 40
40 50 60
20 10 0
70 80 90
100 10 0
Mi cueva es
Over 20% of mammal species can fly Bats living in Nor th America are microbats that are nocturnal and active at twilight. A little under half of bat species in the U.S. migrate to winter hibernation dens, some pass into torpor in cold weather, rousing and feeding when warm weather allows for insects to be active. Others retreat to caves for winter and hibernate for six months. They are the only true mammal that fly. Mainly an insectivore diet, they eat many pesky bugs we try to get rid of for crops and for diseases. Some of the bugs they eat are beetles, mosquitoes, cicadas, and moths. They rely on echolocation to find their food since they are night foragers.
kingdom phylum class infraclass superorder order suborder
Animalia (Animal) Chordata ( Ver tebrate) Mammalia (Mammal) Eutheria (Placental Mammals)
Laurasiatheria Chiroptera (Flying Mammal/Bat) Microchiroptera (microbats)
1,232 Species of Bats
Mythbusting: bat style It appears as though bats are the most hated creatures on the planet, right in line with snakes and spiders. They are associated with Halloween, with blood, with the Devil, Dracula, and the mysteries of the night. People believe they suck your blood. Some believe they fly in your hair. They are flying rodents. Lastly, they give you the dreaded death rabies. Or do they?
Only if you are a 19th century woman who doesn’t bathe and has a large hair wig with netting around it. The smell attracts flies. Bats eat flies. Bats get stuck in fake wigs.
Bats are not blind. They rely on echolocation since they look for food in the dark! They still have vision. Fruit eating bats rely more so on their vision than insectivores.
Bats suck your blood
bats are flying rodents
There are only 3 species of Vampire bats, in which none of them reside in the United States. (They are found in Mexico.) They usually feed off the blood of other animals such as horses, cattle, and chickens.
Bats are not rodents despite their mouselike appearance. You know what rodents glide? “Flying” squirrels. Bats are the only true mammals of flight!
Bats fly in your hair
All bats carry rabies
Worldwide, 99% of rabies cases come from dogs. Bats can carry rabies but not all of them do. Only 1 or 2 people die from rabies per year and not always from bats. Only 5% are found positive with rabies when tested in labs.
bats are blind
bats are demons from hell Bats are linked in the evolution phylogeny tree just like any other animal. Although they are cer tainly unique, they are definitely not evil nor from hell. They were also never supernatural like Dracula.
A little brown bat eats
150 bugs in 15 minutes
Ecological footprint Even though we may rarely see bats in action, they are a ver y significant par t of our ecosystem and for our own lives. Insect eaters like bats are a natural pesticide. This saves us from getting bit by pesk y bugs, and it helps out crops from being destroyed. Fruit bats are also vital pollinators for plants. Guano (aka bat poop) is of ten used for fer tilizers. This fact is an estimate. It is based on the fact that Little Brown Bats can eat half their body weight in one night.
Why donâ€™t bats get a head rush? Bats often lead a solitary life and others live in caves colonized by more than a million bats. Other bat locations include mountain crevices, buildings, under bridges, mines, trees, and bat houses. Bats are adapted to hanging upside down. Bat talons are designed to close down with no muscles needed to keep them clenched, thus able to hold on with no extra exertion. They do not get head rushes since the body already proportionally regulates blood flow, and they do not weigh enough for gravity to take a strong effect.
How it feels to be a bat on WNS Itchy nose
The fungus grows on the wings, ears, and muzzles of hibernating bats, rousing them too early from their deep sleep, sapping their fat reserves and causing strange behavior. Many scientist believe it causes an itch or irritation to the bats, causing them to wake up from their torpor to scratch or groom themselves. Bats then use up their food reserves and have to go out of the caves for more. Unfortunately, it is winter time, and there are no insects around and only cold weather. Many bats do not make it out alive. They are found covered in the fungus and icicles. The fungus is disturbing their life cycles, creating death by starvation or hypothermia.
Loss of fat reserves
How is your wing? With the White-Nose Syndrome fungus, researchers have begun to notice an exceptionally high amount of damage to bat wings. Working with local land owners and state environmental agencies, scientists at Boston Universityâ€™s batlab have developed a scale to describe the types of wing damage being observed on bats. This scale is widely accepted by bat researchers, and the information collected is used to monitor the spread of the White-Nose Syndrome fungus. These are the types of wing damage observed and the score that is given to a bat showing these symptoms, ranging from little to no damage (0) to severe damage and tissue loss (3).
No damage/minimal damage â‰¤ 5 small spots visible No discoloring/flaking on forearm Necrotic tissue not present No holes Skin still fully intact
Light damage Small spots covering <50% Discoloring or flaking on forearm Necrotic tissue not present No holes Skin still fully intact
Moderate damage Small spots covering >50% Discoloring or flaking on forearm Few areas of necrosis Small holes <0.5cm in diameter Necrosis on edges <1cm
Severe damage Covering >90% Discoloring or flaking on forearm Abundant necrosis Large holes >0.5cm diameter Noticeable loss of skin, >1cm
im·mu·no·com·pro·mised adj. the incapability of developing a normal immune response, usually as a result of disease, malnutrition, or even immunosuppressive therapy. A bat immune system will shut down in periods of torpor and winter hibernation to reserve their food supply. This means it is possible that they are unable to fight off the White-Nose Syndrome fungus during their winter slumber. When they do awake, it is of ten too late or too dif ficult to fight it off. On the right page, there are basic figures of what a bat’s body is like during different physical states: active and hibernation. These numbers can var y significantly depending on species, weight of bat, and other factors.
100 90 80 70 60 50
250-450 beats per minute
20 10 0
90 80 70 60 50 40 30
10 beats per minute
Bats are most active around twilight (sun down) and sometimes right before dawn as well. This is because they are foraging for food. The most energy is exerted during times of finding food and long term flights (migrations). The bat to the left shows the vital signs of an active bat body.
Hibernation is a deeper sleep than torpor. A bat could fall into torpor during the day time, but hibernate during a winter season. Either sleep helps save energy and food reser ves. The bat to the lef t shows the vital signs of a bat in hibernation.
It started in this cave White-Nose Syndrome was first discovered in February of 2006, by a caver exploring Howe Cave in New York. He photographed one with a white nose and then noticed numerous dead bats. The most likely cause is a traveller from Europe who brought the fungus over on their clothing, most likely shoes. Few believe it was a stowaway bat. Howe Cave is a recreational cave experience open all year round. It is named after a man called Lester Howe who settled by the caves with his family. It wasnâ€™t until May 22, 1842 that Howe entered the cave and continued exploring it. It is the third recreational cave in the United States.
One popular cave sight This is not just any cave. In fact, it is one of the most visited caves in the United States. It is the largest public cave in the Nor theast and the second most-visited natural attraction for the New York state, falling just shor t of Niagara Falls. This cave has seen more than four teen million visitors since it first opened up to public tours in 1929. Travelers from all over come to see this beautiful cave in the quiet corner of New York. Tour buses from Asia and Europe visit throughout the year, and even school groups of young children flood the caves during the Fall season. Howe Caverns cer tainly gets quite a bit of traffic.
Visitors Visitors from from Europe Asia New york United states canada
(England, France, Germany, etc.) (Korea, Japan, China, etc.) (local residence) (Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, etc.)
200,000 618 visitors per year
When visiting Howe caves, step on this stone heart at the wedding alter if you would like to marry within a year. Good luck!
Timeline of White-Nose Syndrome
2006 2007 2008 New York
Connecticut Vermont Massachusetts
New Hampshire Pennsylvania New Jersey Virginia
2009 Delaware West Virginia Tennessee Missouri Maryland Oklahoma
2010 Indiana North Carolina
Now 17 states with reported bat deaths and More expected
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Myotis auriculus Myotis austroriparius Myotis californicus Myotis ciliolabrum Myotis evotis Myotis grisescens Myotis keenii Myotis leibii Myotis lucifugus Myotis occultus Myotis septentrionalis Myotis sodalis Myotis thysanodes Myotis velifer Myotis volans Myotis yumanensis Nycticeius humeralis Parastrellus hesperus Perimyotis subflavus Cor ynorhinus townsendii Cor ynorhinus rafinesquii Eptesicus fuscus Antrozous pallidus Euderma maculatum Idionycteris phyllotis
Mexican long-eared bat Southeastern bat California bat Western small-footed myotis Western long-eared bat Gray bat Keen’s bat Eastern small-footed bat Little brown bat Occult bat Nor thern long-eared bat Indiana bat Fringed bat Cave bat Long-legged bat Yuma bat Evening bat Canyon bat Tricolored bat Townsend’s big-eared bat Rafinesque’s big-eared bat Big brown bat Pallid bat Spotted bat Allen’s big-eared bat
White-Nose Syndrome Bats Confirmed White-Nose Syndrome Bats Found*
*In need of an histopathological confirmation
Long-distance Migrants/ Non-hibernating species
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Mormoops megalophylla Choeronycteris mexicana Leptonycteris nivalis Leptonycteris yerbabuenae Macrotus californicus Lasionycteris noctivagans Lasiurus blossevillii Lasiurus borealis Lasiurus cinereus Lasiurus ega Lasiurus intermedius Lasiurus seminolus Lasiurus xanthinus Eumops floridanus Eumops perotis Eumops under woodi Molossus molossus Nyctinomops femorosaccus Nyctinomops macrotis Tadarida brasiliensis
Ghost-faced bat Mexican long-tongued bat Greater long-nosed bat Lesser long-nosed bat California leaf-nosed bat Silver-haired bat Western red bat Eastern red bat Hoar y bat Southern yellow bat Nor thern yellow bat Seminole bat Western yellow bat Florida bonneted bat Greater mastiff bat Underwoodâ€™s mastiff bat Pallasâ€™ mastiff bat Pocketed free-tailed bat Big free-tailed bat Brazilian free-tailed bat
Hibernating vs Non-hibernating bats Species in the United States
Hibernating bat Species with White-nose Syndrome
24% White-Nose Syndrome
No White-Nose Syndrome
2026 Certainty of Extinction
for Little Brown Bat
*Unless placed on the Federal Endangered Species List.
What are you
going to do about it? 61
Report a sick bat The most impor tant thing to remember is to never touch a bat with bare hands. If they need to be moved, use thick gloves. Also, please use the checklist on the left page to help identif y the situation to a specialist. Visit the Fish and Wildlife Ser vices website for local numbers to repor t a bat. If your area does not have a White-Nose Syndrome depar tment, please call other state wildlife agencies in your area.
You can help out bats by using your voice or your writing skills. Express your concerns for bat welfare any way you can. It could be a school report, a news article, petitions, or to your congressman or congress woman.
Many organizations still rely on donations and memberships to help keep animals safe. Please consider donating to these important people doing their best to save bats from White-Nose Syndrome.
Write to your Congressman: https://writerep.house.gov/
Boston University Batlab http://www.bu.edu/cecb/bats/wns/ Bat Conservation International http://www.batcon.org/ Species in Mind http://www.speciesinmind.org
INFORMATION CREDITS Page 10: Nathan Fuller and Dr. Jonathan Reichard Page: 12 Dr. Thomas Kunz and Saxena P, Kumar A, Shrivastava JN. Page 14: USGS Page 21: Nancy Simmons Page 23: Organization for Bat Conservation Website Page 24: Dr. Thomas Kunz Page 26: Gerhard Neuweiler of The Biology of Bats Page 33: Dr. Thomas Kunz and the Bat Lab Pages 34 and 35: Nathan Fuller, Dr. Thomas Kunz, Dr. Jonathan Reichard et al Pages 36 and 37: Barbara A. Scmidt-French and Carol A. Butler of Do Bats Drink Blood? and Gerhard Neuweiler of The Biology of Bats Page 43: Howe Caves Website Page 46: Department of Fish and Wildlife Services Page 54: USGS Page 59: Dr. Thomas Kunz and Dr. Jonathan Reichard The Bat Lab Dr. Thomas Kunz, Dr. Jonathan Reichard, Nathan W. Fuller, and Marianne Moore Other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Howe Caverns (employees and website), USGS, and PLoS One
PHOTO CREDITS Page 7: Mar vin Moriar ty of USFWS Page 8-9: Al Hicks Page 10: Vishnu Chatur vedi of PLoS One Pages 12-13: Lex Piccione Pages 16-17: Brandon Keim Pages 28-29: Jane Lindholm Pages 30: Dr. Jonathan Reichard Page 33: Nathan W. Fuller Page 38-39: Doug Mahugh Page 40: Lex Piccione Page 48-49: Nathan W. Fuller
COLOPHON Species in Mind A non profit organization (thesis) www.speciesinmind.org Designer: Lex Piccione Location: Boston and San Francisco Print Typeface: Helvetica Neue Printer: Blurb Software: Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator All proceeds of book sales go towards efforts to save endangered bats from White-Nose Syndrome. ÂŠ 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be produced without express permission from Lex Piccione.