Bat study underway in Yellowstone, ravens preying on sage grouse, buffalo jump video

White nose syndrome is moving from the eastern US into the west suggesting human-distributed rather than weather-driven infection and warmer winters are contributing to its spread. Closures of caves on public lands to human activity have been extended. The Billings Gazette's Martin Kidston report appears in the Casper Trib:
Wildlife biologist John Treanor and his team of researchers began studying the park's bats in May, recording species diversity and known roosting sites around Mammoth. The study also is looking for signs of white nose syndrome, a disease that has decimated bat populations in the Eastern United States. The disease is named after a white fungus that invades and erodes the skin of hibernating bats. It causes the mammals to become active more frequently during hibernation, which depletes their fat stores more rapidly. Fearing that white nose syndrome could continue spreading, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in May launched a national plan to combat the disease. It's estimated that some bats can eat between 3,000 and 7,000 mosquitoes a night.
The Trib tells us that protected ravenous birds are eating sage grouse eggs:
Mike Conover, a wildlife biologist at Utah State University, said sage grouse are big birds with big eggs, which make them tempting targets for ravens. Moving or killing ravens isn’t easy because they’re protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It’s illegal to kill them without a permit. Although there aren’t many statistics, Conover said the raven population is swelling unchecked in Wyoming, as the birds have few significant predators.
Hmmm: pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics lead to industrial diseases.

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