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Guardian Angel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sure hope this works for the tiny creatures! I greatly admire bats and if we lose them, we will be in deep doo doo!!

Shi :)

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A REAL LIFE "BATWOMAN" HELPS TINY CREATURES

Bats are nothing like they are portrayed in Hollywood movies: vicious, screeching creatures that will turn humans into vampires.

Just ask Jackie Kashmer, who has been rehabilitating sick and injured bats at her home since 2005, when she started Bat World New Jersey in Hunterdon County. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, the 55-year-old Milford resident not only nurses bats back to health, but also works to change the negative perceptions most people have of the tiny winged mammals.

She has even concocted a treatment that state biologists are studying as a possible cure for a devastating bat disease.

"Bats are a totally beneficial animal,'' Kashmer said. "They are tiny little creatures that don't make any noise. They are gentle and shy, very intelligent, each with its own personality.''

Kashmer's services have been in high demand since January, when a mysterious ailment called white nose syndrome was first found to be threatening the nine species of bats that call New Jersey home.

White nose syndrome -- a cold-loving mold called Geomyces destructans that grows on the muzzles and skin of stricken bats -- has led to what some scientists have called the "most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history.'' In just three years, the fungus has wiped out an estimated 1.5 million insect-eating bats in nine states, from New Hampshire to West Virginia. It causes bats to lose stored body fat, forcing them to venture outside their caves in winter when there are no insects for them to eat.

That's where Kashmer comes in. Bats recovered alive -- suffering from frostbite, starvation and incapacitated with dried wings crinkled like crepe paper -- are often brought to Bat World New Jersey, where the 17-year wildlife rehabilitator has devised a way to treat them.

Kashmer applies a diluted concoction of apple cider vinegar and warm water to bats' skin using a Q-tip -- a trick she learned as the owner of tropical fish.

"Tropical fish develop a fungus and tail rot if the water is too alkaline, and I read that fungus can't grow in an acidic environment,'' she said. "Putting vinegar in the tank worked on fish and I found that after two weeks of application on bats, not only did it kill the fungus, but the skin repaired itself.''


Photos of Kashmer's rehabilitated bats caught the attention of the **** Valent, principal zoologist with the state's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. Together, they conducted a study of 30 bats from Hibernia Mines in Rockaway Township, the state's largest- known bat hibernaculum, to see if the solution cures them of white nose.

The experiment was promising, Valent said, but it is too soon to tell if it was successful because lab results have not yet been studied.

What Valent is sure of is that white nose syndrome has decimated the bat population at Hibernia Mines. An estimated 30,000 bats normally hibernate there, but Valent said he found just 750 in March.

"When we went in there in the spring, there were thousands of dead bats on the floor,'' Valent said. "We are not sure what we will find this winter, whether the returning bats have found an immunity or if the fungus will return.''

Biologists in the fight against white nose are focused on researching its origins and measures to treat stricken bats and prevent the spread of the fungus to bats in other states, said David Blehert, a microbiologist with the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin.

"It's very challenging to manage a wildlife disease,'' Valent said. "A wild animal won't go to a doctor, won't isolate themselves in a
bedroom and stay home from work. There are limited means by which to deal with it, and we have to be sure we're not harming the species, other species in the ecosystem or harming the environment.''

Kashmer, a court reporter by day, devotes countless hours to bats, feeding them mealworms and cleaning their cages. At her home, about 20 little brown bats that have recovered from white nose are isolated in a spare room, living in netted cages. Others are in a separate structure built recently to serve as an education center, and more in a giant netted outdoor cage.

Kashmer does not get paid for her work, but said the payoff is releasing bats back into the wild.

"This is my calling,'' Kashmer said. "We can't let bats die.''
 

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First of all, I LOVE bats! They are such adorable and harmless (unless your a bug!) creatures that play a vital role in nature.

I worked as a wildlife bat technician in West Virginia 2 years ago when white nose was just being discovered. We were searching for the endangered Indiana Bat and the endangered Small footed bats. (My job as a technician was to catch them in mist nets, tag them, collect all their vitals and then release them.) During this time I spoke with many Bat biologists and scientists about White nose syndrome and absolutely no one had any ideas as to what it was let alone how to cure it. So, that would be such an amazing discovery if she found that ACV could cure White Nose Syndrome.

Thank you Mr. Squeaks for this update!
 

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Guardian Angel
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10,523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are more than welcome, SP!!

Actually, this article was sent to me by my friend and a site member. I thought that posting would encourage people to use ACV more often. Amazing stuff!

What an INTERESTING position you had!! Are you still involved? What happened to the tagged ones? How did you keep track of them?

The bees seem to be in danger too. I just hope they can BOTH be saved. AND, I can't help but wonder just how much mankind has had to do with all of these devastating problems!! :confused:

Thank you for posting!

Love and Hugs
Shi :)
 

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Guardian Angel
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10,523 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Received this UPDATE from my friend who sent me the article: YES!!!


Just got this very good news from Bat Conservation Times:

The U.S. Congress has approved $1.9 million in federal funding for
research to identify the cause and seek solutions to White-nose
Syndrome – the disease that is devastating bat populations
throughout the northeastern United States and threatening bat species
across North America.

The funds, included in the final version of the 2010 Interior and
Environment Appropriations bill, mark a dramatic increase from the
initial allocation of just $500,000 for monitoring affected bat
populations. The WNS-research support was added by a joint
committee that resolved differences between House and Senate
versions of the bill. Both houses of Congress approved it on Thursday
(October 29).

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into
law.
 

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What a wonderful discovery!!! Sure hope they can find a way to extrapolate this to the bats in the wild, or find other ways to help them!
 

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Hi Mr Squeaks!

I am no longer involved with that job; it was just a seasonal wildlife technician position but I still do keep in contact with my boss from time to time. It was an amazing job! I got to spend 4 months camping in beautiful West Virginia and catching bats every night. They are such brilliant animals, so smart and with such personalities!

The bats we tagged were either just tagged for future research or we used telemetry to track their movements. (We would gather information on how far they travelled at night, where the maternity colonies were located, and just there general movement patterns of the colony.)

Thats great that 'bat scientists' are getting more funding! :)
 
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