White-nose Syndrome – We already know how deadly this summer fires are for mammals, birds, and reptiles throughout Australia. But beyond this forest fire season, many of the same species, including bats, are a quarter of all Australian mammal species, face another devastating threat to their survival.
The recent white nose syndrome destroys the bat population across North America. While the fungal pathogens responsible for this disease, Pseudogymnoascus Destructans, currently do not occur in Australia, this fungus will almost certainly jump between continents in the next decade.
The recent research from The Conservation, published in the Austral Ecology Journal, seeks to measure these risks, and the results are not encouraging. Up to eight species of bats occupy the caves of southeast Australia, providing conditions suitable for fungi to grow.
Even before fires this summer, seven of the bat types were listed in state or federal legislation as endangered wildlife. These include the endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat (Miniopterus orianae bassanii), the species living in the caves will all provide optimum conditions for fungi growth.
White nose syndrome cause
Research suggests that the fungus that causes the white nose syndrome to kill bats is an invasive species introduced to North America from Europe.
Scientific research suggests that responsible fungi cause a deadly white nose syndrome on a bat-called fungus Destruction Geomyces-possibly an invasive species introduced to North America from Europe. The results of this study were published on 9 April 2012 in the online journal of the early edition of the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings.
The white-nose syndrome is an emerging fungal disease that was predicted by wildlife biologists to have killed more than 5.5 million bats in North America since it was first discovered in New York in the year 2006. In the year 2012, White nose syndrome has spread to the bat population in 19 different states, and 4 Canadian provinces, mostly in the eastern part of North America.
Hibernation is the primary risk period
Most pathogenic fungi grow best at cold temperatures, and high body temperature in mammals and birds provides an effective barrier to fungal diseases. The fungus that causes the White nose syndrome is also very cold, stopping growing at temperatures above 20 ° C. The only time it can infect and kill the bats is when they hibernate.
Bats are cold (use torpor) during hibernation to prevent hunger during the winter in temperate climates. The hibernating bats that are infected by P. Destructans reheat more often than usual. This unscheduled metabolic heat production is prematurely burning body fat from excessive winter.
Therefore, despite the damage caused by white nose syndrome on bat skin tissues, they seem to die of hunger or dehydration.
Hibernation is the key to predicting the bat population’s vulnerability to death due to white nose syndrome: those with less energy to spare during the winter are more risky. As a result, white nose syndrome has triggered a large research program on winter ecology and physiology of North American bat hibernation.
Bats in southeastern Australia enter the period of the winter hibernation, but that is by far what we know. This knowledge gap makes it impossible to predict how they will respond if it is exposed to P. Destructans. Even the non lethal impact, will exacerbate the extinction trajectory of some species nesting in caves, mainly eastern and southern winged bats.
White nose syndrome Symptoms
The disease that made the bat nose changed color to white was discovered since 2006 in New York City, USA.
This syndrome makes the bats infected behave strangely like flying during the day
White-nose syndrome irritates the bat face and wings, which causes them to awaken during the winter during hibernation. With an awakened condition, it means burning a critical fat reserve necessary to survive in the winter until it causes starving animals to die.
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