Authors: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) (gratefully acknowledges the work of Dave Redell and colleagues of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
Author Affiliation: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE)
Journal: MDNR Website
Abstract: Conserving bats is important. Bats make up one-forth of the world's mammalian species. Because the complex and sometimes subtle ecological roles played by bats are only beginning to be understood, the long term ecological effects of bat mortality due to WNS remain to be seen.
However, experience to date suggests that as WNS continues to spread, entire species of bats could be lost or driven to the brink of extinction. In addition, fewer bats will likely mean increased numbers of insects, resulting in more insect damage to crops and forests, and potentially an increase in insect borne agri- and arbori-cultural disease outbreaks, with potentially increased use of pesticides.