Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Culling can't control deadly bat disease, mathematical model shows

Date:
February 14, 2011
Source:
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
Summary:
Culling will not stop the spread of a deadly fungus that is threatening to wipe out hibernating bats in North America, according to a new mathematical model.

A mathematical model has found culling to be an ineffective strategy for controlling the deadly white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed an estimated one million bats in North America.
Credit: Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Culling will not stop the spread of a deadly fungus that is threatening to wipe out hibernating bats in North America, according to a new mathematical model.

White-nose syndrome, which is estimated to have killed over a million bats in a three year period, is probably caused by a newly discovered cold-adapted fungus, Geomyces destructans. The new model examines how WNS is passed from bat to bat and concludes that culling would not work because of the complexity of bat life history and because the fungal pathogen occurs in the caves and mines where the bats live.

"Because the disease is highly virulent, our model results support the hypothesis that transmission occurs in all contact areas," write the paper's authors, Tom Hallam and Gary McCracken, both of the University of Tennessee. "Our simulations indicated culling will not control WNS in bats primarily because contact rates are high among colonial bats, contact occurs in multiple arenas, and periodic movement between arenas occurs."

Ground work on the model was initiated in a 2009 modeling workshop on white-nose syndrome held at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the interdisciplinary workshop, experts in the fields of bat physiology, fungal ecology, ecotoxicology, and epidemiology discussed ways in which mathematical modeling could be applied to predict and control the spread of WNS.

"NIMBioS' support for the workshop that initiated this project was crucial in helping formulate models that could be useful in looking at white-nose syndrome," Hallam said.

Culling of bats in areas where the disease is present is one of several options that have been considered by state and federal agencies as a way to control the disease. However, a review of management options for controlling WNS in the paper indicates that culling is ineffective for disease control in wild animals and in some cases, can exacerbate the spread.

White-nose syndrome first appeared in a cave in upstate New York in 2006, and has since spread to 14 states and as far north as Canada. Regional extinctions of the most common bat species, the little brown bat, are predicted within two decades due to WNS.

Eating up to two-thirds of their body weight in insects every night, bats help suppress insect populations ultimately reducing crop damage and the quantities of insecticides used on crops. Bats also play an important ecological role in plant pollination and seed dissemination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas G. Hallam, Gary F. Mccracken. Management of the Panzootic White-Nose Syndrome through Culling of Bats. Conservation Biology, 2011; 25 (1): 189 DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01603.x

Cite This Page:

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). "Culling can't control deadly bat disease, mathematical model shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214115440.htm>.
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). (2011, February 14). Culling can't control deadly bat disease, mathematical model shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214115440.htm
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). "Culling can't control deadly bat disease, mathematical model shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214115440.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — California's record drought is hurting honey supplies and raising prices for consumers. The lack of rainfall means fewer crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar bees need to make honey. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A U.S. team found nearly 4,000 species in a subglacial lake that hasn't seen sunlight in millennia, showing life can thrive even under the ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins