|Map from the US Fish and Wildlife Service showing the|
distribution of White Nose Syndrome.
And, it does not appear to be slowing.
This is a serious problem for many reasons. Many plants depend on bats as part of their life cycle. In addition, many insects are controlled, in part, by bats. Entire local ecosystems evolved with bats and their loss will transform these places in unexpected ways.
It is not entirely clear how the disease spreads, but many caves in the United States have been closed to visitors because of the fear that human's may carry the fungus on them.
Just as we have seen the collapse of some of the bee species in North America, the collapse of some bat species is a serious indication of problems ahead.