Sunday, June 3, 2018

White nose syndrome moves closer to endangered Black Hills bat

In 2016 despite protestations from South Dakota's earth hater congressional delegation the US Fish and Wildlife Service extended Endangered Species Act protection for the northern long-eared bat.

In some caves in the Northeast, northern long-eared bat populations have declined by up to 99%. Senator don Juan Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem have tossed bones to their campaign contributors by railing against the protection of endangered species like the northern long-eared bat and for more money for the Neiman family to log the old growth ponderosa pine essential to preserving Black Hills habitat.
A fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS), a deadly disease of bats, has been detected on bats in South Dakota for the first time. The fungus was detected on one western smallfooted bat (Myotis ciliolabrum) and four big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) in Jackson County at Badlands National Park on May 10, 2018, during proactive WNS testing conducted by the National Park Service Northern Great Plains Network in collaboration with the University of Wyoming. This is also the first known detection of the fungus on a western small-footed bat. [press release]
The fungus has also been found at a Wyoming location.

Greedy Old Party donors pressure South Dakota Republicans to resist habitat protection for the black-backed woodpecker, a bird that feeds on the mountain pine beetle. Thanks to Republicans Douglas fir, lodgepole and limber pine have been extirpated from the Black Hills.

Cougars and the American Dipper are next.

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