A manmade island in Washington D.C. provides an ideal setting for biologists who study bats.What scientists do is install these temporary nets to trap bats so they can be studied and checked for any disease.
With a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service,biologists are focusing on whether these nocturnal mammals suffered from the so-called white-nose syndrome.
Since 2007, this mysterious disease has killed more than 6 million bats in North America.
It typically has one pop a year when they reproduce, so that is another reason that white nose has been so detrimental,you know, they don’t have a lot of babies.
The syndrome is not contagious to humans but people entering capes may unintentionally carry in spores of the fungus that causes it.
In this dark, wet conditions, the fungus spreads rapidly, leads to erratic behavior in bats, explains biologist Lindsay Rohrbaugh.
These bats are arousing more often than they are supposed to be during hibernation, and when they do that, they are unable to find food and they unfortunately die.
The bats of these important pollinators have direct consequences on the quality of human life, Rohrbaugh says.
Without bats we were seeing an increasing in mosquitoes and other pests that are decimating food sources for us.And I think that’s all gonna getting worse over time if we don’t find some way to protect this species that we have left.
One theory is that certain by its species no longer return to caves to avoid contamination and their presence in cities makes it increasingly important that humans know how to behave if they encounter a bat.
You should not touch it, not disturb it. I don’t want anybody being dead on the very 1% chance of that bats has rabies.
We should call their animal control officers to come and remove the bat for them.
Veronica Valero Celestias, VOA News, Washington.
美国之音，Veronica Valero Celestias，华盛顿报道。