Bat Crisis: OSGATA Joins Coalition to Protect Bats

A mysterious disease, called white-nose syndrome, is spreading across North America and killing  bats. Bats play a critical role in pest control. One study estimates that bats save 3.7 to 53 billion dollars a year in pesticide use. The loss of pest control by bat populations can threaten critical crops and lead to increased pesticide use.

Spearheaded by the Center for Biological diversity, OSGATA has joined the with a coalition of organic farmers, conservationists and anti-pesticide organizations to stop the spread of this devastating disease. The coalition is asking the government to restrict public access to caves and mines on federal lands across the west. These protected environments will provide safe havens for unaffected bat colonies.

“The West’s millions of acres of public, federal land offer our best chance to preserve a reservoir of uninfected bats—if not indefinitely, then at least for a few crucial years while scientists work to find a cure,” says Matteson. “Keeping people from moving the fungus into the West is a biological and moral imperative, and the time to act is now.”

Why are bats important?

1) Bats play a critical role controlling insect populations. A single bat can consume thousands of insects in one night.

2) Bats play a critical role in protecting our agricultural crops from pest damage. A study estimates that bats save 3.7 to 53 billion dollars in pest damage to our agricultural crops.

Why is OSGATA joining this coalition? Bats play a critical role in providing natural pest control essential to organic farming systems.



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