From WILL - Focus -

White Nose Syndrome Found in Illinois: Why it Matters

Do you drink tequila? Eat chocolate? Thank a bat. This hour on Focus, we talked about these notorious flying mammals, the role they play in our eco-system and why white nose syndrome is so scary.

Listen to the Program

(Duration: 55:01)


a bat affected by white nose syndrome in a cave in Northern Illinois Steve Taylor/University of Illinois

Bats are notorious in popular culture, but they play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome, a poorly understood disease that's responsible for mass die offs of hundreds of thousands of bats nationwide. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, a part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers.

Heske is part of a group of researchers who are working with white nose syndrome in Illinois. See pictures from inside the Illinois caves where white nose syndrome has been found here, and keep up to date with the latest news about white nose syndrome from the US Fish and Wildlife Service here

Do you have a favorite bat encounter horror story? Join our conversation. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter or post in the comments section below.