Local Bats Are Seriously Dying
A few months back, we dedicated an issue to bats—because that’s important. Plenty of manmade and natural misfortunes are participating in the demise of the important flying pest. The most known, and most harmful, is White Nose Syndrome: a fungus that burns bats’ fat stores and starves them to death in the winter. Experts say the disease, first identified in New York, has already killed 7 million bats. About 8,000 of them lived in a sanctuary at a Bucks County abandoned iron mine, but the population has since dwindled to just a few hundred. Experts have noted that up to 99 percent of Southeastern Pennsylvania bats are being killed off.
And that is a big problem for us. Bats help control the ecosystem, killing crop-damaging pests, mosquitoes and other insects. The fewer bats in the wild, the more pesticides are used on farms. Other than that being totally gross, it also raises the cost of food.
Earlier this year, Grindcore House coffee shop in South Philly featured an art show dedicated to these ecosystem VIPs. The proceeds went to White Nose Syndrome research.
Scientists don’t know how White Nose Syndrome spreads. Which sort of makes this whole thing that much more depressing.