Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
White Nose Syndrome Killing Bats
We started this segment with a clip from Scott Darling and Susi von Oettingen. They're American biologists. And they're standing just outside the Aeolis cave in Vermont. The bones carpeting the ground are the remains of bats killed by a fungus that causes something called White Nose Syndrome.
We aired a clip from our broadcast in June of 2008. And since then, things are worse. White Nose Syndrome has killed more than a million bats in the United States. And now, bats in Ontario and Quebec are getting infected. Several species are at risk. And a group of leading scientists and conservationists has issued a formal request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They're asking for the Little Brown Bat to be put on the endangered species list.
Tom Kunz is one of the people behind the request. He's the Director of the Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology at Boston University. He has authored a study on the impact of White Nose Syndrome on the Little Brown Bat. He was in Boston.
White Nose Syndrome Killing Bats - Craig Willis
We started this segment with a clip from Ian Barker, a professor of wildlife diseases at the University of Guelph, and Ontario's Director of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre. In Canada, we have no numbers of infected or dead bats, but scenes like the one we heard earlier are playing out in caves in Ontario and Quebec.
And later this month teams of field workers will begin heading out to monitor white-nose infection this season, and they're also asking the public to be on the look out for bats. Craig Willis is also studying the disease but mainly in the laboratory. He is an associate professor of biology at the University of Winnipeg.
Last Word - Centenarian Paul Gagnon
This morning the last word goes to Paul Gagnon.
He was born in 1909. So he's one of the 100 people over the age of 100 we're talking to on The Current. Paul Gagnon grew up in Gravelburg, Saskatchewan and he's writing his memoirs. He's up to the 1950s so far. We ended the program with a Paul reading an excerpt from the prohibition era in Saskatchewan.