Printer Friendly

Bat decline may pose threat to U.S. farming.

A mysterious disease is killing large number of bats in the United States and scientists are worried this could pose a new threat to U.S. farming. Bats in the United States are dying by the hundreds of thousands due to White-Nose Syndrome and efforts to save them could prevent billions of dollars in agricultural losses.

In a paper published in the journal Science, bat researchers estimated that a single colony of 150 brown bats in Indiana eat around 1.3 million pest insects a year and that the total value of such bats to U.S. agriculture may be around $22.9 billion a year.

They criticized a lack of funds and efforts to save the bats and to find out more about what is causing their widespread population decline. The current "wait-and-see" approach is unacceptable the magazine quoted the researchers as saying.

"Bats are among the most overlooked, yet economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America, and their conservation is important for the integrity of ecosystems and in the best interest of both national and international economies," the scientists, led by Justin Boyles of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, wrote in Science.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Informa Economics, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Date:Apr 11, 2011
Previous Article:U.S. gains permission to once again export live Swine to China.
Next Article:Canada continues research on biotech wheat.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |