White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
White nose syndrome is an introduced fungal infection that’s exerting huge pressure on certain of our bat species. Some bats require a long and deep hibernation when their body functions slow down dramatically to conserve resources. When infected with this fungus, which concentrates on their faces, giving a white appearance to their nose, it irritates the bats, causing them to wake up and go outside looking for food. Of course, during winter in the upstate, hunting insects is a futile task. At Stumphouse Tunnel, the number of tri-colored bats dropped from 400 to thirty. In the past few years, however, Researcher Susan Loeb and her students, are seeing a slight rise in numbers. The bats are roosting closer to the front of the cave where the temperatures are lower and perhaps that helps keep the bats in deep hibernation.