What is “white-nose syndrome” caused by?



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    No one is quite sure yet what the causes for White Nose Syndrome, which has been killing huge proportions of bats in the New England area, are.  There has been, of course, much speculation and scientists have developed some ideas on what may be causing the deisease.  Scientists are not sure if the white fungus found on the bats’ muzzles is what is actually killing them, or if it is just a side-effect of what is killing them.  A decrease in Winter fat stores, pneumonia, and disruptions in the bat’s life-cycles due to climate change are all possibly factors contributing to the development and spread of this disease.  Other scientists believe that pesticides have permeated their insect food supply and that these substances are the cause for the disease.  Other thoughts are that the syndrome is caused by bat flies, which are small parasites that live in bats’ fur and feed on its blood.  All possibilites are currently being researched.

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