In recent year, bat monitoring scientists have mostly been in the business of body counts. White-nose syndrome has been devastating bat populations throughout North America. The disease has been rampant, killing an estimated 6 million bats across much of central-eastern USA and Canada.

However a cure, recently discovered by scientists from Georgia State University and the U.S. Forest Service, has helped combat the problem for a bat cave population in Hannibal, Missouri (this was the first field test of the cure).

Michael T. Rains, a senior scientists with the U.S. Forestry Service, said this was encouraging news but more research was needed. The original research into this miracle cure almost happened by accident.

Chris Cornelison, a Georgia State scientist, observed that Rhodococcus Rhodochorus reduced fungal growth in bananas, and it could similarly combat the fungal growth caused by white-nose syndrome.

It’s known if the bats from Missouri are fully cured, but it is a sign that a better future for bats is possible.

Read more about the bananas solution to white-nose syndrome for bats in Canadian Wildlife magazine, Jul + Aug 2015 edition.

Feature image Tom Lusk, a CWF photo contest submission.

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