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Global Warming, Sick Bats, and West Nile Virus

As an animal lover, I was saddened to read that little brown bats are dying in droves in New York State. It appears to be related to warmer temperatures, causing a fungal overgrowth in the caves, which is making them sick. In addition, the poor little creatures wake up from their hibernation early, only to find that there are no insects to eat yet. They burn through the last bits of winter fat looking for their first meal, and end up dying of starvation.

In our delicate ecosystem, the loss of the bat population is a boon for mosquitoes that can spread the West Nile Virus to humans. So although warmer winters may seem like a welcome change, there are other animals who don’t adapt so well. So this summer if the extra mosquito bites drive you batty – you’ll know why.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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