While reminiscing about whitetail deer hunts of years past, there are several things I recall. The smell of leaves on a cool fall evening, buck moths flying around my treestand and little brown bats catching their dinner across the field I was hunting. It was nothing to see 5 or 6 bats each evening. More recently, I haven’t seen any bats. Thankfully, this past year I did see one bat fly by a couple of times one late October evening. It was good to see that bat out hunting especially after white-nose syndrome hit bat populations hard. Bats are an intergral part of our environment! Researchers are working to find out more on this disease and the effects it has on bats. Unfortunately, southeastern bats in Alabama have now been diagnosed with the disease.
“Biologists have confirmed white-nose syndrome (WNS) in the southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius) for the first time. The species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America that are afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease.”
“The diseased bat was found in Shelby County, Ala., at Lake Purdy Corkscrew Cave, by surveyors from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Nongame Program; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Alabama Ecological Services Field Office; Ecological Solutions, Inc.; and the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.
“First detected in New York in 2007, WNS is now in 31 states and five Canadian provinces.”