Skrevet av Emne: Caving community on alert - risk to Australian bat populations  (Lest 3391 ganger)

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"White-nose syndrome (WNS), which has killed millions of bats across the United States and Canada, affects cave-dwelling bats and spreads quickly in cool temperatures, affecting the mammal's ability to hibernate and causing dehydration and death.

"The fungus — Pseudogymnoascus destructans — presents as a noticeable white growth on the ears, noses and wings of bats and produces hardy spores which can be transferred via footwear, clothing and equipment.

Australia is currently free of WNS, but as new cases continue to emerge worldwide, the potential for disease spread has become a serious biosecurity issue for organisers of the International Congress of Speleology, to be held in Sydney in July.

"We are working with the authorities here in Australia to minimise the risk of introducing this fungus into our bat population," organising committee vice-president Nicholas White said.

More than 500 cave scientists, speleologists and visitors from across the world, including WNS-affected countries, are expected to attend, with hundreds making trips to Australia's most popular caves where vulnerable bat populations exist."

"When I try to imagine a faultless love
Or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur
Of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape."
W.H. Auden, "In Praise of Limestone"