Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away Plus Bat News

We're watching the surface front forecast for Sunday-Monday with great interest right now. The forecast from now until then is pretty complicated, and rainy.

I spent the day at a meeting of The Wildlife Society's NJ Chapter, which featured speakers on White-Nosed Syndrome in bats. Scary stuff, to say the least. Over 1 million cave-dwelling bats are believed to have died so far in the northeast. The fungus causing the disease was first documented in NJ in January 2009, and has already caused devastating effects in NJ hibernacula. Tree-dwelling migratory bats, such as Red and Hoary Bat, are less affected - so far. We should pay attention to cascading trophic interactions from the decline of bats, which could, ironically, include increases in bird species like nightjars (e.g. Whip-poor-wills, Chuck-wills-widows, and Common Nighthawks) which share some foraging targets with bats.

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