Apparently, bats are not attractive to the save-the-world crowd — unless, perhaps, their deaths can be linked to giant windmills used to generate electricity. Though a variety of animals ranging from tiny fish to reptiles have been the subjects of enormous preservation campaigns during recent years, a major problem facing bats does not seem to have generated much concern.
Wildlife agencies in several states, including West Virginia, are worried, however. They are attempting to react to “white-nose syndrome,” a disease that has killed tens of thousands of bats in Eastern states.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officials are working hard to protect bats here. Already, they have closed 41 caves known to have bat colonies, in an attempt to keep human visitors from spreading the disease.
But they don’t really know whether the closures will be helpful. No one does.
Bats are at least as critical as many federally protected animals to the environment. Washington needs to begin paying serious attention to “white-nose syndrome.”