Thanks to a tweet from the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), I found out today is the publication date of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. :::sigh, swoon::: Ok, not so much, really. I mean, the guy was pretty grotesque, hairy palms and all. But still, an amazing story that, to my knowledge, has never been out of print (correct me if I’m wrong).
So why, you may ask, was the USGS tweeting about Dracula? A fair question. On behalf of the National Wildlife Health Center, they were calling attention to a fungus that is killing our bats. What does the USGS have to do with the NWHC? Here’s a statement from their page:
The National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) is a science center of the Biological Resources Discipline of the United States Geological Survey. The NWHC was established in 1975 as a biomedical laboratory dedicated to assessing the impact of disease on wildlife and to identifying the role of various pathogens in contributing to wildlife losses.
This disease that is killing our dear little bats in various places around the country is a cold-loving fungus known as White-Nose Syndrome. They report that in just the last three years it is estimated that one million bats have died from this disease. This is bad. We need our bats. The disease seems to be largely in the Northeastern United States, and does not affect European bats. I don’t think it’s made it to Oregon yet, but it seems like prime real estate for this fungus. There are some bats living near me that I watch swooping and diving in my backyard in the early evenings during summer, eating all those vile mosquitoes. I always want to yell to them, ‘Dude! Bring your friends! All you can eat!’ Anway, poor widdle bats.