THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Bat protections crucial

July 17, 2011

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I AM writing in response to the letter about bats and white-nose syndrome (“Helping bats shows our upside-down priorities,’’ July 10). The writer thinks that we should just ignore the problem, because there are other problems that need to be solved.

While I realize that white-nose syndrome isn’t our only problem, the disease does affect the environment, our ecosystems, and even human safety. A single bat eats up to 3,000 insects every night. Many of these insects would harm crops, forcing farmers to use more pesticides that could get into groundwater and harm people and the environment. Bats also eat insects like mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

If bats die out, it could cost North American agriculture billions of dollars a year. The disease has spread to 16 states, and has killed over 1 million bats as of 2010. According to Boston University scientists, if we don’t take action, the little brown bat may be extinct by 2026.

Protecting bats may not be at the top of your list, but it is an extremely important issue.

Cynthia Nicole Putnam
Concord