Northeast bats in danger of extinction

little brown batOne of North America’s most common bat species, the so-called little brown bat, will be all but extinct in the Northeast in 20 years to due to an emerging fungal desease called White-Nose Syndrome.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by Boston University biologists, including Professor Thomas Kunz and post-doctoral researcher Dr. Winifred Frick who authored the study published in the new edition of Science magazine.  Kunz says the loss of the bat population could have a significant negative impact on humans because bats consume so many insects.

“The little brown myotis is known to consume up to 100% of its body weight in insects each night.  This level of insect consumption provides an important ecosystem service to human kind, and to the balance of natural and human-altered ecosystems, which in turn can reduce the use of pesticides often used by humans to kill insect pests.”

Contact Tom Kunz, 617-353-2474, kunz@bu.edu

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