Since 2007, with the first reports of hibernating bats dying in large numbers, scientists have worked from various angles to find the cause and cure, racing against the possibility of extinction.
As she did for golden frogs and honeybees (The Case of the Vanishing…, 2011, 2013), veteran science educator Markle presents this disturbing disappearance as a mystery. She describes the search for clues in the bats’ physical environments, lifestyles and internal organs. Scientists descend into caves and mines to measure temperature and humidity. They use sophisticated lab tools to measure pesticide residues, culture fungi, search for viruses and compare DNA. Finding the cause, a fungus now called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, was not enough. How does Pd work to harm the bats? Where did it come from? Why are European bats relatively resistant? And what can researchers do to combat it or increase the resistance of our native North American bats? With plentiful details about the scientific work, photographs showing scientists and their tiny subjects, clear explanations, and an organization that is both topical and chronological, this title brings science to life. The extensive backmatter includes further facts about these amazing creatures, ways readers can help them, and outside resources as well as useful sources for further information.
The appealing design and presentation add value to this account of science in action. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)