The message seems to be catching on – whitenose syndrome is killing our bats and we should do something about it. Earlier this year I pointed out that scientists are calling for whitenose syndrome studies to be a top research priority. In March, one of the most influential journals, Science, published a piece outlining the potential agricultural consequences of the massive bat die-off due to crop loss and increased pesticide use on the insect populations that will no longer be controlled by the bats. And most recently, the New York Times editorialized on the topic calling on the need for additional funding for the government agencies responsible for addressing whitenose syndrome echoing our message that “spending a little more now could save us a fortune later.”
Now all we need is for Congress to pay attention.
We all know that money is tight and that – given the recent budget showdown – getting money allocated for anything – much less bats – is going to be a battle. But the drumbeat has been sounded and everyone agrees: bats are important and if we want to curtail the ecological and economic consequences of losing millions of bats across our country, we need to invest in the scientists and land managers that can help develop effective strategies for addressing whitenose syndrome. And we need to do it now.
Congress is currently working to draw up next year’s budget plan – please take a moment to tell your representatives that they should support funding for whitenose syndrome – because a bit of money now could mean a whole lot of money – and bats – saved in the future.
To take action go here
Photo credit: Nancy Heaslip, New York Department of Environmental Conservation courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service.