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Two WMU Professors get grant to help save bats


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Two WMU Professors have been recruited to the effort to stop a deadly fungus that is killing America’s bats.

Its being called the worst wildlife desease dieoff in north American history.

White Nose syndrome has already killed an estimated 6.7 million bats in the north east.

It gets into their caves and  disrupts their hibernation cycles. The bats wake up in the middle of winter with no food sources and starve.

Mollie Mattson, with the center for biological diversity says it can have a 80 to 90 to 100% mortality rate.

WMU’s Dr. Maarten J. Vonhof and Dr. Robert Eversole have just been granted 223-thousand dollars to test a compound made from the hard outer shell of shellfish that seems to fight the fungus.

The DNR found the first signs that the Fungus has made its way to Michigan last winter.

Bats  serve an important role in the biological food chain, eating bugs that can be damaging to other species if they are not controled.  They also eat mosquitoes, and that makes them a nice species to have around.