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Texas Bats Are Getting Some Much Needed Help

Researchers are receiving funds to study a deadly epidemic among bats

Researchers studying how to prevent White Nose Syndrome are receiving 1.3 million dollars in funding. The disease has become an epidemic among bats in the last decade, killing entire populations of bats in some places.

But why spend one-point-three million on bats?

According to Paul Phifer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bats provide an estimated over 3.7 billion dollars in pesticide services each year.

“And that’s not only good for the economy,” he said, “it’s good for the environment.”

In Texas, bats provide a lot of help to corn and cotton farmers. Bats, among other animals, were part of rescue and rehabilitation efforts after Harvey.

The money, awarded in grants by public and private partners, will go to researchers all over the country. Researchers in Texas studying how manipulating bat’s microclimates could help prevent the disease.

A representative from the Austin Bat Refuge holds a bat as it feeds on mealworms.

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Davis Land

Davis Land

General Assignments Reporter

Davis Land is a general assignment reporter for Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media/Transom.org in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a...

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