White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) has been a growing problem among countless bat populations. Caused by a fungal disease, the condition is now threatening the very survival of the creatures. Scientists are at a loss about what to do next.
According to studies conducted so far, it would appear that the overall effects of WNS on bat populations depends on how gregarious (closely packed together) the animals are during periods of hibernation. Like many other species, bats hibernate in clusters.
University of California in Santa Cruz (UCSC) found that populations are dwindling both across the United States and other countries. Several species have found a way to survive, by hibernating in less tightly-packed clusters, whereas others appear unable to adapt, and will go extinct.
However, researchers say that bats, overall, will survive, even if in much smaller numbers than before. Their decimation will have serious consequences for crops, since the creatures are natural predators to a host of insects that decimate farmers' fields, the NSF