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Bacteria may help aid in bat recovery from white nose syndrome

On the Nature Conservancy blog.

Last week, 75 bats successfully treated for white-nose syndrome were released back into the wild in Missouri – rare good news in what has become one of the gloomiest wildlife stories in North America.

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), caused by a fungus, has devastated bat populations in the eastern United States since it first appeared here almost ten years ago. An estimated 5.7 million bats have died, and conservationists have scrambled to find solutions.

The bats released last week all had White-Nose Syndrome, and were successfully treated with a common bacterium that releases Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) with anti-fungal properties.

This hopeful story may be an important first step in managing WNS. And its scientific backstory is just as fascinating.

This innovative treatment’s development began not with bats, but with bananas.

That’s right: the bananas on your supermarket shelf play a surprising supporting role in bat conservation.

– See more at: http://blog.nature.org/science/2015/05/27/bananas-to-bats-the-science-behind-the-first-bats-successfully-treated-for-white-nose-syndrome/?src=e.nature&lu=3479815&loc=b2#sthash.4j8fGYJT.dpuf

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