bats

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by sculptor, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,365
    Die off still in process?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Unfortunately, yes. Same is true of bees.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,072
    Conservatives estimates in 2012 alone placed the death toll of North Americans bats being killed by White Nose Syndrome at 5.7-6.7 million. ( Froschauer & Coleman,2012). In some of the instances, the mortality rates were near 100% ( Froschauer & Coleman,2012).

    Poor buggers. first it's bees, then bats, and Old Taz is being decimated too, by contagious facial tumors.

    Reference.
    Froschauer, A., & Coleman, J. (2012, January 7). North American bat death toll exceeds 5.5 million from white-nose syndrome. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/sites/default/files/files/wns_mortality_2012_nr_final_0.pdf
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    The extinction of bats would be an ecological crisis, but we'd probably find a way to survive. The extinction of bees, on the other hand, would result in a drastic reduction of the human food supply. Starvation would be widespread and something like 75% of the earth's population would die, not to mention the riots and wars that would be the second-order effects. Civilization might collapse.
     
  8. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,072
    True, most North American bat species are insectivores, and they help put a dent in the population of pathogen carrying insects.

    It's little details like this that make humanity's own hubris in thinking that they control the planet, or are exempt from the biosphere, an utter farce.
     
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,365
    Shades of Rachel
    Magnifying Up the Food Web
    I suspect that it is insecticides and herbicides which are the root cause of both the colony collapse disorder and the weakened bat populations.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,845
    I wish that were true, because it might create enough leverage on the trashers to get a leash on them, but humans can get by - in a degraded way, but perfectly healthy and well fed and corporate profitable - on wind and fly and self pollinated plants. Corn, rice, beans, wheat, sorghum, millet, bananas, sugar cane, etc etc etc, do not depend on bees.

    Honeybees, in particular, are domesticated animals. Most of the agricultural systems on this planet - including the heavily plant based ones of the New World and Asia that have been feeding the planet these days - did not employ them. They can go under, and human life will go on. In a way.

    Likewise with bats. We'll miss them, but we don't "need" them. So if it comes down to economics - as it may - the bats will lose. Corporate prosperity is a "need", diverse and enchanting and deeply exhilarating landscapes are hippie woo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,365
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    No. The cause has been clearly identified as white nose syndrome, a fungus that grows on the muzzles and wings of hibernating bats.

    Obviously bats can easily transmit it to each other and even to other nearby populations, but spelunkers (people who explore caves as a hobby) carry the organism to much more distant locations.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has called for a moratorium on cave exploration in affected areas, and recommends decontamination of clothing and equipment. They would like to simply close down access to these caves, but the political and practical issues make that difficult.

    The demise of bats would be a catastrophe for farmers, whose crops would be besieged by enormous swarms of insects that would be impossible to thwart with current technology. And of course anything that comprises a catastrophe for farmers would also be a catastrophe for the people who depend on their food for survival.
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,845
    People have clearly been spreading the disease, but its absence for thousands of years from bat populations in contact with each other over continent wide areas requires some further explanation.

    Probably not. There are many successful farming operations in areas all but devoid of significant bat populations, and bats are not the kind of fast reproducing agents that can handle swarm outbreaks of pest insects.
     
  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,365
    sculptor said:
    I suspect that it is insecticides and herbicides which are the root cause of . . . . the weakened bat populations.

    Perhaps
    Perhaps not?
    excerpts from this article:
    http://www.birc.org/JunJul2013.pdf

    White nose fungus has many elements
    in common with the fungus
    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis,
    which has caused massive die-offs
    in amphibian populations (Eskew
    and Todd 2013). Pesticide contamination
    has been proposed as a contributing
    factor in both diseases
    (Shah 2010).
    ...
    European bats may
    have evolved resistance to the
    pathogen, and probably have
    immune system protection. The
    immune system of U.S. bats is
    unable to prevent infection and
    death, either because acquired
    immunity to the novel pathogen is
    slow to develop, or because the
    immune systems of U.S. bats are
    generally compromised
    ...
    A number of things could lead to
    immune suppression. Improper
    nutrition could have an effect. Bats
    are voracious foragers, eating close
    to their weight in insects every day.
    If their food supply is reduced, due
    either to pesticides or weather conditions,
    improper nutrition might
    lead to a depressed immune system
    (Barclay and Dolan 1991; Kannan
    et al. 2010; Burles et al. 2008).
    .....
    Bat immune systems may be
    depressed from environmental contamination
    or pesticide residues.
    Little brown bats can live for 34
    years, and often eat their body
    weight of insects every day (BrunetRossini
    and Wilkinson 2009). With
    this kind of metabolic flow, they are
    vulnerable to accumulation of pesticides
    and environmental contaminants,

    We ain't nowhere near a bottom line on this, and the science definitely ain't "settled".
     
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,966
    I have bats in my backyard, I took a picture of one with a flash.
     
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,365
    any caves nearby?
     
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,966
    A hollow tree near a pond.
     

Share This Page