one green planet
one green planet

White-nose syndrome has greatly diminished northern long-ear bat populations in recent years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that they would like to reclassify the flying creatures from threatened to endangered. This comes shortly after a review found that the lethal white-nose syndrome is expected to affect 100 percent of northern long-eared bats by 2025.

Source: VICE News/Youtube

White-nose syndrome was first discovered in a New York cave in 2012. The fungal disease amongst North American bats is said to be more deadly than COVID-19. The disease, which has been compared to HIV/AIDS, spreads fast amongst bats and has killed millions. The fungus moves through the skin and kills its immune systems incredibly fast. The bats are often infected when they are hibernating in mines and caves and are found dead in thousands. White-nose syndrome has spread over almost 80 percent of all bat species since it was first listed as a threat in 2015.

“White-nose syndrome is devastating northern long-eared bats at unprecedented rates, as indicated by this science-based finding,” Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley said in a statement. “The Service is deeply committed to continuing our vital research with partners on reducing the impacts of white-nose syndrome, while working with diverse stakeholders to conserve the northern long-eared bat and reduce impacts to landowners.”

Northern long-eared bats can be found in 37 states, and they are in every Canadian province. Bats are vital to make healthy ecosystems, and they contribute $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture sector through pest control and pollination. Bats feed on moths, flies, leafhoppers, beetles, and many other insects. They are also pollinators and are very much needed for a thriving environment.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is teaming up with nongovernmental organizations, tribes, states, federal agencies, and other institutions to help save these bats before it’s too late.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a virtual public information meeting to discuss the impact of the possible requalification. The meeting can be found here and will be on April 7th from 6 to 7:30 pm.

The status of the northern long-eared bat now meets the requirements for them to be defined as endangered. Hopefully, this new category will allow for more protection for the bats and possibly find a cure to this devastating disease. Sign this petition to protect endangered bats!

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!