This is a story about the birds and the bees (and the bats and the bugs).
That’s right, it’s a story about plant pollinators. Insects like bees and butterflies, as well as animals such as birds and bats, are responsible for pollinating two-thirds of the world’s food crops.
I read an article about bats in the most recent University of Vermont alumnae magazine today. It made me want to cry.
Bats are dying due to a little-understood disorder called "White nose syndrome." The disorder causes the bats to wake frequently throughout their winter hibernation, and since they are hungry when they wake, they fly off in search of insects - their primary source of food. The problem is that in the winter, there are no insects, so the bats expend valuable energy in futile searches before returning to their winter slumbers. By the time they wake in the spring, the bats are so emaciated, that they are susceptible to other illnesses that healthy bats can easily fight off. So, the bats die from a variety of things, so it has been hard to pin-point the exact cause of the syndrome.