August 17, 2010

Batman without the Bat.

The Comic, and entertainment industry on the whole, has never been particularly creative when it comes to naming their creations. Super-man, Spider-man, Bat-man, the list goes on. In the wake of recent news however, Mr. Wayne may need to rethink his moniker.

Recent studies show that the most common bat in America, M. lucifugus, better known as the little brown bat, is getting closer and closer to total extinction, being struck by White-Nose Syndrome, which was discovered in 2006. WNS is quickly decimating the bat's and at this time scientists barely understand how it works, let alone the cause of the ailment.Some researchers believe in it caused by a foreign mold that has entered the caves, but that doesn't fully explain the disease present. What is known however is that bats are dying in the millions, and quickly. Researchers have even been quoted saying that this is possibly the worst threat to bats within the span of human existence.

Many algorthms made to predict the decline have shown that these creatures could go extinct in a matter of decades. If WNS does not get them, their small resulting population would make them suseptible to other problems: predation, a colder winter, or just bad luck.

Apart from the implications that will occur for Gotham's Dark Knight, the decline (and possible exintiction) of bat populations in Eastern America lead to several bad consequences. Firstly, cavern ecosystems (which in each cave is unique) would be decimated, as bat's provide much needed nutrition from the outside world. More pragmatically, bats are one of the most pervasive insect killers out there, more effective than most insectosides. Death of bats leads to fewer crops, and in turn, raised food prices...

The disease affects many different types of bat, including those which were already perilously close to extinction, such as the Indiana bat. It's a race against the clock to find a cause, and potential cure, for natures little bug zappers.

This like so many other things affecting the world is a dire threat; if not for a sustainable ecosystem, then purely for the caped crusader.
Thanks for reading

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