We like bats here in Houston. So it's good news to us that researchers in Texas have given the ugly little guys the all-clear as far as the fatal white-nose syndrome goes.
The disease was first found in New York about seven years ago and has been making a move westward, killing millions of bats along the way. A recent survey was conducted by Bat Conservation International with money from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
Targeted areas for testing and swabs from cave walls included spots in Childress, Cottle and Hardeman counties. The Panhandle is a major area of concern.
But we're not out of the clear yet.
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According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, the disease has been confirmed in 25 states and five Canadian provinces. A total of 90 percent to 100 percent of the bats who live in affected caves have died from the disease.
Scientists and researchers are keeping a close eye on this killer fungus. Because we need bats -- they eat annoying insects by the hundreds and are said to save farmers some $4 billion from crop damage.
There is no known cure at this time, says TPW, but research is ongoing.
If you'd like to do some bat appreciation of your own, don't forget, we have the Waugh Bridge bat colony season up and running.