Cost Effective Concrete Cave Helps Save Bats
As part of an initiative to promote the innovative and cost-saving advantages of concrete, a company built an artificial bat cave to evaluate whether it could be a model for saving bats that are dying from White Nose Syndrome, a fungus spreading across North America. What exactly is White Nose Syndrome and how might this concrete structure help to conserve bats? It is a virulent disease has decimated many populations of bats in the United States and parts of Canada leaving them vulnerable to a rapid extinction. While indirect evidence suggests a link between the colonization of skin by the fungus and the disease, speculation that an unidentified factor was the true culprit was common. Direct evidence of causality confirms that the fungus is the primary cause of the disease and will help guide management actions to preserve affected bat populations. Scientists are still debating the exact details as to how the agent spreads. Many studies confirm speculation that White Nose Syndrome can be transmitted directly from infected bats to healthy ones through contact. Tourists and other individuals who visit caves with affected bats may also be responsible for spreading the fungus. The cave made of concrete is one of the first manmade structures for bats in the wild; it will be cleaned periodically to remove the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome from reaching dangerous levels. The artificial cave was intentionally placed near a natural cave with an established population of bats in the hopes of coaxing them to colonize the area. In fact, it has an 11-foot ceiling textured in such a way that bats can cling to it. In short, concrete is not only decisively more eco-friendly than tile, wood or carpeting, but it also can be used to directly save wildlife.