March 27, 2013 —
The WNS fungus kills in a strange way. It causes the bats to awake from hibernation and start foraging for food. That activity uses up their stored fat reserves and the bats actually starve to death or die of exposure before their primary food source – night flying insects – return in mid-spring.
Park Manager Chris Perry says he is concerned about the potential health impact on area residents and on agriculture productivity when the bats are gone or their numbers are substantially reduced.
“Bats are natural predators of mosquitoes and other flying insects that carry human diseases and damage crops,” he observed.
Those of us who have known Carter Caves all of our lives cannot imagine Bat Cave without bats.
(Next: What does the future hold for Carter Caves?)
Keith Kappes can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 800-247-6142.