More Bat Cave Stories

I spent last week in Tennessee & Kentucky learning about white-nose syndrome and an artificial bat cave designed to stop its spread. Here are some more blogs I wrote about it:

Bad Days in Bat Caves: Finding and verifying white-nose syndrome

Building the “Cave of Dreams”: How the artificial cave works

Of Bats & Men: Our complicated relationship with bats

Cave Man Cory Holliday: A profile of the man behind the cave

Hope this is useful information, and I’d appreciate any feedback.

Matt Miller

4 Comments
  1. Vladimir Dinets 7 years ago

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to spray fungicide at hibernation sites than to built this artificial cave, which might or might not work?

    • John Fox 7 years ago

      Matt’s first post said they were concerned about the other life in natural caves. Not much life there, but what is there might be endemic. It would be bad form to wipe out a cave cricket or something.

      • Vladimir Dinets 7 years ago

        That’s understandable, but hybernacula usually occupy only a small section of a cave. And if some species occurs only in that section, it is probably guano-dependent, so loss of bats would be a much greater blow to it than spraying fungicide.

  2. Profile photo of mattinidaho Author
    mattinidaho 7 years ago

    Gents,
    Thanks for the comments. Vladimir, I see your points. John Fox is correct on the reason. Every fungicide that worked also killed cave invertebrates (crickets, springtails, etc), apparently highly sensitive. The microbial communities of caves are little understood, and every researcher I spoke with said that fungicides would highly alter the microbes. The risks seemed too high.

    Overall, researchers are racing to get ahead of this disease. I think there will be many experiments. Some won’t work, but hopefully some will.

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