The Loh Down On Science

Bat Cave

It's built! Will they come?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, talking 'bout the world's first artificial hibernaculum for bats!

What’s a hibernaculum? Science speak for bat cave.  Plus it's fun to say.

Let's say you're a bat, and you're looking for the right cave to bed down in for the winter.  Look out! Hibernating bats are under attack by White Nose Syndrome, a lethal disease caused by a soil fungus that loves caves. Infected bats have white fuzz on their schnozzes, and once a cave becomes toxic, that’s forever.

Solution? Tennessee!

What?  Well . . . To save bats, conservationists there have built an underground concrete room the size of a mobile home. It traps cold air, which bats love, and contains textured places suitable for bat-snuggling. There is even a private entrance.

And, every summer, conservationists can bleach the whole cave, killing any disease-causing fungus left behind. Which means it will remain a safe place to roost.

Unlike "Nashville," a TV show called “Nashville Bats” would have a lot less drama.  Just sayin’.

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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