innermostphoto wrote:So the bats die. Sorry, that is the way of things.
WNS does not just affect bats. WNS affects us all.
Bats are predators of night-time flying insects, including many that are agricultural pests. For example, big brown bats in the Midwest consume cucumber beetles, June bugs, stinkbugs and leafhoppers. Cucumber beetle adults forage on corn, spinach and vine plants. The larvae, corn rootworm, is more destructive. June bugs eat leaves, June bug larvae feed on roots. Leafhoppers siphon off sap and distribute diseases. These insects can contribute from 40 to 100 percent of the diet of big brown bats.
Other species , like Mexican free-tailed bats primarily feed on moths, the larvae of which tend to be crop pests. Mexican free-tailed bats feed extensively on migrating populations of corn earworm moths, (corn borers) a major pest of corn, tomatoes and beans. In terms of damage caused, corn borers are the number-one agricultural pest in America. In terms of the pounds of pesticides to control them, they rank behind only boll weevils.
A typical colony of 150 bats will eat more than a million moths each season. It has been estimated that the 20 million bats in Bracken Cave, Texas, eat about 250 tons of insects nightly.
If vast populations of bats die, small farms will fail because the farmers won’t be able to afford the increased costs of more pesticides. This will accelerate the loss of family farms.
Organic farmers will fail because they will be unable to compete with the pests. .
Prices to consumers will increase because of costs of pesticides, or losses of crops.
Then there is the issue of mosquitoes. A single bat is capable of eating 500 - 1000 mosquitoes per hour. While you may be thinking of West Nile virus, far scarier is arboviral encephalitis (When encephalitis is caused by a virus transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes, it is known as arboviral (short for arthropod-borne) encephalitis). Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. There are no proven treatments for arboviral encephalitis. While most people recover from the illness, permanent brain problems and death can occur.
If the bats decline and the mosquitoes increase, municipalities will feel the need to increase pesticide spraying. I am sure Monsanto/Dow etc are just waiting to roll out the vast stores of DDT they have sitting in warehouses.
By consuming such huge quantities of insects, bats contribute mightily to agricultural production, pesticide free environments, and healthy human economies.
Personally I do not want to pay $5.00 for an ear of corn or for a tomato laced with pesticides. Nor do I want to see the organic growers I buy my produce from go under. I do not want to see Monsanto/Dow etc bring back DDT. I am old enough to remember when the peregrine falcons nearly died out in New England from crumbling egg shells from DDT toxicity. Thankfully scientific research uncovered the DDT connection in time to save the Peregrine Falcon which was removed from the Endangered Species list on August 25, 1999, and which can be seen again nesting in New England. I do not want trucks spraying poison in my neighborhood.
Not going caving for a while is a small sacrifice I am willing to pay.
How bout making some noise to stop all the hype and hysteria surrounding this subject
When Silent Spring was published in1962, a huge counterattack was organized and led by Monsanto Company, and others in the chemical industry. Rachel Carson was violently assailed by threats of lawsuits and derision, including suggestions that this meticulous scientist was a "hysterical
woman" unqualified to write such a book. Yet, the US ban on DDT is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of many species of birds including the bald eagle, from near-extinction.
Nothing you or I can do about that?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
Protect Bats-Fund vital White Nose Syndrome research--Make your tax-deductible donation online at the NSS Donation Page and select the WNS Rapid Response Fund.