Bat colonies across the Northeast US have fallen victim to 'White Nose Syndrome,' a lethal and mysterious condition. The syndrome is characterized by a white, fuzzy fungal infection on bats in infected colonies -- but bat specialists still aren't sure if the fungus is a symptom of the syndrome, or its cause. Bats affected by the syndrome appear to have difficulty conserving their energy during the cold winter, causing them to starve to death.
Writing this week in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a journal of the Ecological Society of America, a team of researchers propose a dramatic stopgap measure to protect affected colonies -- building warm 'bat boxes' inside affected caves that would allow affected bats to conserve their energy. We'll talk with researchers about the idea and what, if anything, can be done to protect colonies affected by the syndrome.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer