By Terry Kovarik
The world’s bat population has been decimated by white nose syndrome. The fungal growth was first found on hibernating bats’ muzzles and wings in 2006. It’s been responsible for the death of millions of bats. White nose syndrome has been found in soil from caves where the bats live or hibernate and have been visited by people. Visitors to Horseshoe Bay Cave in Door County last weekend learned more about the bats’ plight from Jennifer Redell. She’s a conservation biologist and cave and mine specialist with the Bureau of Heritage Conservation. Redell says researchers working to help bats need people to report where they’re finding bats.
Bats are vital in controlling insects and other pests. Bats can live up to 30-years. So the loss millions of adults to white nose syndrome can take years to recover from. That’s led some researchers to call for limits on caving to reduce the risk of spreading white nose syndrome.