Tricolored Bat in Trouble
Posted: September 14, 2022
That’s it, tricolored bat. You’re going on the endangered species list.
Officials made the announcement Tuesday. The northern long-eared bat was recommended for the list this year too.
What’s going wrong with bats? A fungus is among us—or, them!
The bats keep getting white-nose syndrome. Bats are made to take long winter naps. (That’s called hibernation.) But bats with white-nose syndrome can’t hibernate as they should. While they’re hanging out in caves and mines, they get fuzzy fungus spots on their wings, muzzles, and ears. The sickness makes them active. Sometimes they leave their hibernation spots too soon. They burn up their winter fat stores when they should be dormant (resting). Sadly, many eventually starve.
Bats are a big deal. The rest of the year, bats roost among leaf clusters in trees. They slip out at dusk to catch insects such as flies, moths, and beetles. God designed these animals for pest control. They also pollinate crops. If farmers paid bats for their great work, it would probably cost around $3 billion!
Tricolored bats get their name from their hair. Though they are some of the tiniest bats in North America, their bodies sport three shades of brownish-yellow fur. So far, white-nose syndrome has wiped out nine of every 10 tricolored bats.
People scramble. They study. How can they stop white-nose syndrome? They are keeping track of where the disease spreads while testing potential treatments. Scientists also are trying to develop a vaccine.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the Earth is full of your creatures. — Psalm 104:24