The Ultimate Bat vs. Fungus Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Something mysterious is going on in the bat world. Thousands of bats have been dying and the cause has yet to be determined. One thing most of the dead bats have in common is the appearance of fungus on their bodies. Is fungus the culprit behind the bats' deaths? Take this quiz to learn more about bats versus fungus.

What happens to bats in the winter?

Many bats hibernate during the winter in order to survive.

Why do bats hibernate in the winter?

Bats hibernate in order to conserve energy while food is scarce during the cold, winter months.

Where do bats usually hibernate?

Most bats hibernate in caves, called hibernaculums.

Something went wrong in _____ and bats were observed to be awake during the time that they should have been hibernating.

Bats were spotted awake and flying during the day in Albany, N.Y., in the winter of 2006 when they should have been hiding away in hibernation.

What unusual feature was shared by many of the bats who were awake in the winter months?

The bats had a white fungus around their noses, appearing as though they had taken a whiff of flour. This is where the name White Nose Syndrome comes from. Affected bats also had scarring on their wings, ears and tails.

How many bats had died in New York State by early 2007?

Some 11,000 bats had died by early 2007 as a result of the plague, which appeared to be highly contagious.

How did the dead bats appear on examination?

The dead bats appeared emaciated, leading scientists to believe that the disease affects a bat's metabolism.

White Nose Syndrome has been compared to Colony Collapse Disorder. Which animal was affected by Colony Collapse Disorder?

Thousands of honeybees have died from a mysterious disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder. The bees showed similar symptoms to the affected bats, flying outside of their hives in the cold weather and appearing physically affected by the disease when they died.

How many mosquitoes can a bat eat in one hour?

Bats help to keep mosquito populations, and other insect populations, under control. Some bats can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour.

What percentage of their body weight can bats eat in one night?

Bats eat at least their body weight in food each night.

Bracken Cave, Texas, is famous for its bat colony. How many insects does the colony eat each night?

The Bracken Cave bat colony eats more than 200 tons of insects each night. Each of those insects is one less insect in your home or one less mosquito to bite you!

What percentage of bats eat only insects?

About 70 percent of bats eat insects exclusively. Other bats eat fruit or small animals, such as frogs and rodents.

Who is most affected by a drop in the bat population?

Farmers benefit from the natural pest control that bats provide and feel the effects of a decreasing bat population.

How far had the White Nose Syndrome spread by the beginning of 2008?

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found that White Nose Syndrome had spread to almost every cave within an 80-mile radius of the caves that were found to be infected in 2007. This means around half a million bats had been infected. It is thought that the disease was spread when infected bats come into contact with healthy bats from nearby caves during the summer.

What is the mortality rate for White Nose Syndrome?

The mortality rate of bats with White Nose Syndrome is between 80 and 100 percent and is threatening the future of some bat species.

Five bat species have been particularly affected by White Nose Syndrome. Which of the five affected species are wildlife specialists particularly concerned about?

The Indiana myotis has already been classified as an endangered species, with only around 550,000 left across the world. The Indiana myotis tends to cluster together in large colonies, meaning the disease is likely to wipe out large numbers of them and may eliminate any chances of recovery.

What is thought to be the cause of White Nose Syndrome?

Bat Conservation International have come up with three possible causes for White Nose Syndrome: an unknown virus or pathogen; different hibernation patterns as a result of climate change; and a decreased supply of food as a result of man-made pesticides, leaving bats to starve over the winter.

What is thought to be the role of the fungus in White Nose Syndrome?

It is thought that the fungus is a symptom of the disease, rather than the cause, since it has not been found on all bats that have died from the disease.

Besides for White Nose Syndrome, how do many baby bats die?

Many baby bats crash when they take their first flight and are killed.

What creature takes advantage of bat carcasses on cave floors?

Dermestid beetles and their larvae eat the carcasses of the dead bats on cave floors.

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