Dori Edwards, Global Animal
An ultrasonic sound recording is coaxing Tennessee bats into the first artificial cave built for conservation. The manmade cavern will offer refuge from White Nose Fungus. The disease prompts bats to wake during hibernation and has killed approximately six million in the northeastern United States.
The Nature Conservancy has been raising money for the past two years to fund the construction of the $300,000 project. However, when Cave and Karst Program director Cory Holliday discovered more cases of White Nose Fungus near the prospective site, he and other Nature Conservancy members decided to begin building even though they were $75,000 short of their fundraising goal.
In order to ensure the bats are safe from infection, the Nature Conservancy will disinfect the cave each summer to guarantee the bats hibernate invulnerably during the winter. With an estimated capacity of 200,000 bats, the Tennessee cave will not only help prevent extinction but will maintain the global pest control the species facilitates.
Although The Nature Conservancy expected negative criticism for what they thought would be considered a “crazy” proposal, they have received no such response. The artificial cave is an honorable endeavor fueled by a compassion for animals. Support the Nature Conservancy and donate to help the conservancy reach their fundraising goal.