As the cold season is approaching, not only humans take their precautions about it. Animals are also affected by low temperatures and those that can’t stand them, develop ways of adapting to it or avoiding it. Such is the case of bats, which are starting to hibernate. Specialists are aware that the small animals are particularly vulnerable this time of the year.
Environmentalists have recently issued a warning addressing adventurers who like to explore caves. This is the period when bats withdraw and hibernate to be safe from the cold temperatures in winter. However, if they are disturbed, they won’t be able to regain their balance. This is why protecting the bats is crucial for specialists.
Biologists explain that waking up to low temperatures affects the bats. They are exposed to a disease called white-nose syndrome, which can be deadly for the small animals. What’s more, the condition is responsible for the death of ninety percent of the current bat population.
The recent warning about protecting the bats is an initiative from The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It was issued on October 28. Specialists urge people to postpone their trips. They also strongly recommend to them that of they encounter bats hibernating, they should leave the site immediately as quietly as possible.
Wildlife experts explain what is happening to bats when they are disturbed in winter. The process of hibernation makes them immune to the low temperatures. However, if they woke up and face the cold, their body temperature is forced to rise and keep the animals warm. This process consumes their energy and their fat resources, and eventually lead to the small animals’ death.
Environmentalists are highly concerned about protecting bats in New York, and any other place in the United States, for that matter. Some of the species are protected both under the laws of the New York state and the federal regulations.
Conservationists intend to intensify their efforts of saving the bats, even more, if they take into consideration the reports from Illinois. Local research shows that the bat populations are decreasing. Specialists have been investigating all the eleven species that live in their state, and none of them is immune to the white-nose syndrome.
Unfortunately, specialists also stated that there is no way that humans can help the bats infected with the cave fungus that causes the white-nose syndrome. No cure for the infection has been discovered yet. However, wildlife experts urge people not to interfere with bats that have already started their hibernation season.
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