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Something Wild segment of New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) discussed White Nose Syndrome in New Hampshire bats. Wildlife biologist Emily Preston and endangered species biologist Suzie von Oettengen took part in the segment and talked about the infectious disease in state’s bats.
The infectious disease cannot be ignored as bats are very important for our eco-system. The animal’s food sources are nighttime insects. According to von Oettengen, New Hampshire has about eight bat species, which means a lot of insects of the state are consumed by bats.
The migration of bats starts in the fall at different times. Female bats migrate soon after mating, while male bats migrate a little longer. Some of the migrants travel to the southern US, while others stick to caves in New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and some more nearer states.
Little-brown and big-brown bats are the most familiar bat species in New Hampshire. Preston said populations of little-brown bat are declining rapidly in the state. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has reported a 90% decline in the population, according to Preston.
While talking about European invasion, Preston said, “WNS is a fungus that originated in Europe and somehow it found its way here. Once here, because it’s an exotic species and no there’s existing entity to keep it in check, it took off”.