Tag fungus

This April, a little March Sadness

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”5″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”5″ show_thumbnail_link=”0″ thumbnail_link_text=”Bats of WNS” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] The images above are white nose species we have hosted at Save Lucy. Not all species are imperiled equally, but all of them, even the more common ones, are in need of conservation action. — Ed. Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Mine started off well because it was Easter. I like Easter! I got to eat a lot of candy and candy makes me happy. Sadly, my wonderful vacation and holiday had to come to an end. I went to school on Tuesday. I had to give a 10-minute speech in my English class on Wednesday. I also had exams. It was awful! Something else happened this week that was even more awful than my suffering. The fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome has been found in two new places. First, it was found in Kansas. Kansas is the 32nd state that the fungus has been found in. Several bats were found to have the disease in Cherokee County in Southeast Kansas and in Barber County in South central Kansas. This news made me very sad. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fungus has now been found in Central Texas. It was found in the Panhandle of Texas last year and it seems to be spreading. It has now been found in 4 new Texas counties. They found the fungus on cave bats, tri-colored bats, Townsend’s big-eared bats, and on a Mexican free-tailed bat. The detection of the fungus on a Mexican free-tailed bat was particularly worrisome. Scientists don’t think these bats are susceptible to WNS, but since they migrate in such large numbers, they are worried the disease could spread further. If you would like to read […]

Bringing a fungus to light, or vice versa…

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. I was sad on Thursday because it had snowed the night before, and I STILL HAD SCHOOL!!! There was at least half a millimeter of snow on the cars when I woke up in the morning. The sidewalks were damp. It was obvious to all Fairfax County Public School students that there should at least be a delay. I mean, they’ve cancelled school for less in the past. But, nothing! I had to go to school on time! The injustice of it all was overwhelming! Ok, I feel better now… I have some good news in the world of bats! Scientists might be on the verge of a breakthrough in eradicating White Nose Syndrome! As many of you know, the fungus most likely began in Eurasia, and the bats over there seem to be immune to it. The bats here in North America, however, are not. Little Brown bat populations have dropped 90 percent since White Nose Syndrome first appeared in New York. And, Tricolored and Northern-long Eared bat populations have dropped 97 percent. White Nose Syndrome even snuck its way west of the Rockies. There has been no news of any hope for a cure except for relying on time and evolution, until now. Hundreds of researchers have been trying for years to find a way to stop, or at least slow down, this deadly disease, with no luck. New research is beginning to show some hope of a solution. A study led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been looking into the genomics of the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome. They have discovered that this fungus is missing an enzyme that allows it to repair its DNA after it’s been exposed to UV light. They are […]

And a Happy New Year!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week and a very Merry Christmas! I had an awesome Christmas and I got some really cool presents. I even got a brand new Save Lucy t-shirt! Since this will be my last blog post of the year, I thought it would be nice to look back at everything that happened in 2017. I know a lot of bad things happened in 2017. White Nose Syndrome continued to spread, sadly with no end in sight. There were hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. More than half of Puerto Rico is still without power. Honestly, it’s been a rough year for a lot of people and a lot of critters. That said, some good things happened too. So, let’s focus on the good…  On January 24, Fiona the Hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo. She soon became an international internet sensation bringing joy to millions of people around the world. She is absolutely adorable! A 12 year old Romanian boy risked his life to save the life of a toddler who had become trapped in a pipe. There was a total solar eclipse seen throughout North America on August 21. There won’t be another seen on the continent until 2024. And in bat news, a new bat was discovered roosting in East Devon. The grey long-eared bat is rare to the UK. There are only about 3,000 of them, so this discovery was great news! More good news came out of Europe in 2017. Thanks to Europe’s strict laws protecting bats, it was found that European bats are making a comeback. Many bat populations on the continent have increased by 43% since 1993. And last but not least, Northern Long-Eared bats were found on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts and coastal South Carolina. […]

Up with the Resistance!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. I am now officially on winter break and I plan on enjoying myself immensely. I hope everyone else is able to enjoy their vacations and that you all have a wonderful holiday season. I read an article about researchers who are trying to find the origin of White Nose Syndrome. Scientists at Northern Arizona University and the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center used genomic sequencing to figure out where the fungus that causes the disease originally came from and how it is spreading. Up until now, there has been much speculation that the fungus originated somewhere in Europe or Asia. The scientists wanted to know its true origin, and hopefully gain some insight on how to stop it. By analyzing the genome of the fungus in samples from Europe, Asia, and North America, they found that there was a big difference between the fungus found on North America and the one in Europe and Asia. They discovered that there was a lot of diversity between the samples found in Europe and Asia, but almost none in North America. This helps prove the theory that the fungus was recently introduced to North America, and has been in Eurasia for much longer. One interesting fact is that the Eurasian bats have adapted and developed a resistance to the disease. This gives scientists hope that bats in the United States and Canada may be able to do the same. If you would like to read the article, you can find it here.