Something mysterious is going on in the bat world. Thousands of bats have been dying and the cause has yet to be determined. One thing most of the dead bats have in common is the appearance of fungus on their bodies. Is fungus the culprit behind the bats' deaths? Take this quiz to learn more about bats versus fungus.
What happens to bats in the winter?
They fly during the day.
They give birth.
Many bats hibernate during the winter in order to survive.
What unusual feature was shared by many of the bats who were awake in the winter months?
a white fungus on their noses
The bats had a white fungus around their noses, appearing as though they had taken a whiff of flour. This is where the name White Nose Syndrome comes from. Affected bats also had scarring on their wings, ears and tails.
White Nose Syndrome has been compared to Colony Collapse Disorder. Which animal was affected by Colony Collapse Disorder?
Thousands of honeybees have died from a mysterious disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder. The bees showed similar symptoms to the affected bats, flying outside of their hives in the cold weather and appearing physically affected by the disease when they died.
How far had the White Nose Syndrome spread by the beginning of 2008?
within a 40-mile radius
within a 60-mile radius
within an 80-mile radius
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found that White Nose Syndrome had spread to almost every cave within an 80-mile radius of the caves that were found to be infected in 2007. This means around half a million bats had been infected. It is thought that the disease was spread when infected bats come into contact with healthy bats from nearby caves during the summer.
Five bat species have been particularly affected by White Nose Syndrome. Which of the five affected species are wildlife specialists particularly concerned about?
the Indiana myotis
The Indiana myotis has already been classified as an endangered species, with only around 550,000 left across the world. The Indiana myotis tends to cluster together in large colonies, meaning the disease is likely to wipe out large numbers of them and may eliminate any chances of recovery.
What is thought to be the cause of White Nose Syndrome?
both of the above
Bat Conservation International have come up with three possible causes for White Nose Syndrome: an unknown virus or pathogen; different hibernation patterns as a result of climate change; and a decreased supply of food as a result of man-made pesticides, leaving bats to starve over the winter.