People travel from all over the world to see the bats fly from under the bridge on Congress and out to the Austin night sky. As it warms up and the season to watch the millions of bats begins, a scary reality has also started to sink in.
It’s called White Nose Syndrome. The fungus that causes WNS was first detected in Texas in the Panhandle area last year. It’s recently been found in Central Texas in tri-colored bats and Mexican free-tailed bats West of Austin.
The syndrome has killed millions of bats in the eastern parts of the United States, raising national concern.
The fungus has been detected but not the disease, yet.
It takes a couple of years for the disease to manifest after the fungus is detected, but Bat Conservation International says they’re hoping that these bats have a little bit of time before they see potential disease develop.
Mexican free-tailed bats fly over the Congress Avenue Bridge to eat insects on corn and cotton fields, something Bat Conservation International says is also very important for the economy.
They’re testing treatments to try and help the bats survive WNS if it does turn into a disease and reduce it from spreading. They expect those results to be back by summer 2018