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In an effort to better understand bats’ population, 31 states and 10 Canadian provinces have started a program which will find out how the animals face problems such as climate change, destruction of their natural habitat and white-nose syndrome (WNS) disease.
Currently, there is no government program in action to observe bat population. But now, the new program, North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat), has been launched to monitor bat population and tell policy makers about bat population so that they can track trends in the population.
The program will help in reducing the risk of bats population extinction. It could help policy makers to check if there is any population decline. The program will detect high-pitched frequencies produced by flying bats.
The program’s development came into action after the death of about six million bats in North America since 2007. It was found that a disease named white-nose syndrome (WNS) was responsible for the deaths of bats. There is no treatment for the disease yet.
The fungi Pseudogymnoascus destructans infects wings of bat and makes them unable to fly. It also causes too much discomfort for the animal during hibernation period. Such problems lead to death of the bats.
Susan Loeb from the Southern Research Sation said, “Most of our bats are very small, they fly at night, and they're very difficult to study. In the last 10, 20 years, we're getting better and better technology that allows us to learn about bats”.