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Banding Bellamy’s Bats


There are over 10,000 known caves in Tennessee. Less than 500 of those are suitable for supporting large numbers of bats and fewer still can support them year-round. Bellamy Cave, with its unique blend of both warm and cold temperatures is one of those rare few, housing thousands of endangered gray bats every year. It’s a critical site for the gray bat population in Tennessee…made even more so by the onset of white nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that is killing bats by the millions. Here in Tennessee the disease has had a big impact. But for some reason it doesn’t seem to be hitting the gray bat population as hard as other species like little browns and tri-colored bats. Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker takes us out to Bellamy, where biologists are trying to learn more about these unique animals in the hope of helping them survive.

Earlier this year, scientists were able to release 75 bats in Missouri that were some of the first to ever be successfully treated for the deadly disease. While the release is certainly a bright spot in the fight against white nose, there is much more work to be done to determine whether or not the current discovery can be an effective and environmentally safe method for protecting bats from the disease.

From show 3007