Big, dry bats more likely to survive fatal fungus

January 29, 2016

 

Contact: Mirjam Guesgen, +64 6 951 7298, +64 21 740 414

M.J.Guesgen@massey.ac.nz, news.massey.ac.nz 

 

Bats’ body type and the environmental conditions they hibernate in may explain species differences in bat mortality from deadly fungus, according to a study published today in Science Advances.

 

White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease of hibernating bats causing dramatic bat population declines in North America since 2007, yet certain bats survive infection by the fungus.

 

Researchers from Massey University, New Zealand, the United States Geological Survey, the University of Florida and Colorado State University in the United States used a mathematical model integrating the effects of bat body size and metabolism with growth of the fungus across a range of winter temperature and humidity conditions to show why some bats survive infection, while others do not.

 

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Image(s): 
Bats with WNS In Cave