NGS Story on WNS/Bats

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NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby Phil Winkler » Nov 25, 2010 3:05 pm

This December, 2010 issue of National Geographic has a good article on WNS, how it is spreading and also quotes from Jim Kennedy. For some reason the title of the article is Crash. (A coincidence I'm sure). Interestingly enough, the lead paragraphs describe experiments at a Wisconsin lab of the USGS called the National Wildlife Center devoted to combating wildlife diseases.

Unfortunately, it states that the fungus was "probably carried there by a human.." perpetuating this assumption.
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby BrianC » Nov 26, 2010 9:13 am

Phil Winkler wrote:This December, 2010 issue of National Geographic has a good article on WNS, how it is spreading and also quotes from Jim Kennedy. For some reason the title of the article is Crash. (A coincidence I'm sure). Interestingly enough, the lead paragraphs describe experiments at a Wisconsin lab of the USGS called the National Wildlife Center devoted to combating wildlife diseases.

Unfortunately, it states that the fungus was "probably carried there by a human.." perpetuating this assumption.


That doesn't surprise me at all! Was this part of The Nature Conservancy video?
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby PYoungbaer » Nov 26, 2010 10:29 am

Here's the on-line version:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/12/bat-crash/quammen-text

Photos by Steve Alvarez (NSS 43099). The Hellhole photo was from the joint WVDNR/USFWS/NSS photographic survey trip last February.
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby BrianC » Nov 26, 2010 6:28 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:Here's the on-line version:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/12/bat-crash/quammen-text

Photos by Steve Alvarez (NSS 43099). The Hellhole photo was from the joint WVDNR/USFWS/NSS photographic survey trip last February.


I was wondering when it would be released. Yes Peter they don't have a clue about where WNS came from. You would think that they would find some credible references. Genocide is the act of humans removing an entire population. So now we have it!
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby cavedad » Nov 26, 2010 8:11 pm

We received our copy Wednesday. Actually, the article implies that transmission among bats within North America is probably bat-to-bat. It does say that the fungus may have come from Europe via a "caver's coveralls". It does not mention the "bat on a freighter" theory I've heard previously. There is no mention of cave closures or cavers transmitting WNS here in the states. An altogether well balanced article when you consider the slant it could have taken. I have found the author David Quammen to be a very good nature writer. I first started reading him in Outside magazine in the 80's.
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby BrianC » Nov 27, 2010 10:08 am

cavedad wrote: It does say that the fungus may have come from Europe via a "caver's coveralls". It does not mention the "bat on a freighter" theory I've heard previously.


NG is sensational journalism and gives the viewer stories that promote thought. I can't say that the producers purposely promoted the human transmission theory, but in the past I have seen them trash the destructive human animal.
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Re: NGS Story on WNS/Bats

Postby cavedad » Nov 29, 2010 12:51 pm

National Geographic is sensational jouralism? You mean like National Inquirer? :laughing: As with everything, there are degrees of truth to most statements, and I would agree that NG is more "sensational" than The Economist or a technical journal, but the article by Quammen was definitely not biased in the way many media reports have been. Besides, the death of millions of bats IS sensational.

As one who lives in a state where the extractive industries have ruled the roost for many years (and as one who is NOT a tree hugger), I am witness to the fact that man can definitely be destructive, even when he thinks his actions are harmless. We're just now starting to get much of our native trout habitat restored by treating the effects of acid mine drainage from the mining of high-sulfur coals and acid rain from burning those coals in pre-scrubber power plants. It will probably be centuries before the effects of mountain top mining are completely reclaimed by natural processes.

Man needs to accept that he can be destructive if he's not careful and use his brain to prevent unentended consequences. That said, blanket cave closures are NOT an example of man using his brain.
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