Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Culling can't control deadly bat disease

15.02.2011
Culling will not stop the spread of a deadly fungus that is threatening to wipe out hibernating bats in North America, according to a new mathematical model.

White-nose syndrome, which is estimated to have killed over a million bats in a three year period, is probably caused by a newly discovered cold-adapted fungus, Geomyces destructans.

The new model examines how WNS is passed from bat to bat and concludes that culling would not work because of the complexity of bat life history and because the fungal pathogen occurs in the caves and mines where the bats live.

"Because the disease is highly virulent, our model results support the hypothesis that transmission occurs in all contact areas," write the paper's authors, Tom Hallam and Gary McCracken, both of the University of Tennessee. "Our simulations indicated culling will not control WNS in bats primarily because contact rates are high among colonial bats, contact occurs in multiple arenas, and periodic movement between arenas occurs."

Ground work on the model was initiated in a 2009 modeling workshop on white-nose syndrome held at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the interdisciplinary workshop, experts in the fields of bat physiology, fungal ecology, ecotoxicology, and epidemiology discussed ways in which mathematical modeling could be applied to predict and control the spread of WNS.

"NIMBioS' support for the workshop that initiated this project was crucial in helping formulate models that could be useful in looking at white-nose syndrome," Hallam said.

Culling of bats in areas where the disease is present is one of several options that have been considered by state and federal agencies as a way to control the disease. However, a review of management options for controlling WNS in the paper indicates that culling is ineffective for disease control in wild animals and in some cases, can exacerbate the spread.

White-nose syndrome first appeared in a cave in upstate New York in 2006, and has since spread to 14 states and as far north as Canada. Regional extinctions of the most common bat species, the little brown bat, are predicted within two decades due to WNS.

Eating up to two-thirds of their body weight in insects every night, bats help suppress insect populations ultimately reducing crop damage and the quantities of insecticides used on crops. Bats also play an important ecological role in plant pollination and seed dissemination.

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) (http://www.nimbios.org) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Citations: Hallam TG, McCracken GF. 2011. Management of the panzootic white-nose syndrome through culling of bats. Conservation Biology 25(1): 189-194.

Catherine Crawley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nimbios.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>