Four years ago, Ravenswood Media released a highly informative video called The Battle for Bats: White Nose Syndrome, explaining how the deadly fungal disease was decimating bat populations at an unprecedented rate. At that time it was reported that the fungus had killed over 400,000 bats. Today that number is over 5.7 million, and it is being called one of the most devastating afflictions to hit American wildlife.
The sequel film, subtitled Surviving White Nose Syndrome, remains positive. Some bats are surviving multiple years of exposure to the fungus and looking fairly healthy. In order to study the survivors, bats are banded with year-specific bands to track their health over consecutive hibernation periods. Researchers hope they can glean some answers from the bats that are defying the odds multiple times.
Because the disease has been around for several years now, protocols have been implemented at caves sites around the U.S. At Mammoth Cave in for example, the 400,000 visitors that pass through must step through bio-security mats, which serves the dual purpose of keeping them from bringing pathogens in as well as from taking them home.