October 28, 2011
Bat with White-Nose Syndrome

Little Brown Bat with White-Nose Syndrome     Photo: USFWS Headquarters/Flickr

Source of Bat-Killing Syndrome Identified

Geomyces fungus behind white-nose syndrome

Scientists from the National Wildlife Health Center have identified a fungus that causes a deadly and highly contagious disease that has decimated bat populations across the United States. In a study published yesterday in Nature, the team recreated fungal infections with Geomyces destructans and noted the same syptoms—namely a white fuzz that grows on the noses of infected bats—that biologists have observered among bats populations affected by white-nose syndrome in the wild. The disease has killed more than a million bats so far, including up to 90 percent of bats in some infected hibernacula. The U.S. Forest Service has closed dozens of caves to tourists and spelunkers in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease. Though the fungus exists in European bats, it has not been responsible for deaths there.

Read more at Nature


Belligerent kayakers

Belligerent kayakers     Photo: freeform systems/Flickr

Kayak Race in China Ends in Blows

Boats collide; paddles raised in anger

The final of the men's 2,000-meter kayaking fours China City Games in Nanchang, China ended in bloodshed early this week when the Nanchang squad retaliated violently after a collision with a team from Guangzhou. The Guangzhou boat reportedly rammed the Nanchang team after a lane violation, and the Nanchang kayakers fought back with their paddles. One blow landed squarely enough to send Guangzhou team captain to the hospital, "covered with blood."

Read more at China Daily


Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp     Photo: magical-world/flickr

Search for Korean Climbers Unsuccessful

Park and team still missing on Annapurna

Nine days after a team of climbers including world-renowned alpinist Park Young-Seok went missing on Annapurna, searchers have no idea what may have befallen the men. The Korean climbers were attempting a new route on Annapurna's South Face when they encountered falling rock on October 18th and radioed their decision to abort the climb. When nothing was heard from Park in the following days, The North Face and the Korean Alpine Federation dispatched search parties. A team of Sherpas identified a rope buried under four meters of snow, indicating that the men might have been caught in an avalanche and swept into the huge crevasse at the foot of the South Face. The rescue effort on Thursday focused on a crevasse in the direction of the avalanche.

Read more at ExplorersWeb


Malibu Lagoon

Malibu Lagoon     Photo: ellenm1/Flickr

Judge Approves Malibu Lagoon Restoration

Plan supported, opposed by enviro groups

A judge in California has ruled against three groups who sued to stop a controversial project to restore a lagoon near Malibu's world-famous Surfrider Beach. The pro-restoration side hopes to dredge a channel that would better connect Malibu Lagoon, which is badly polluded, to the Pacific Ocean and remove a series of footbridges that they say keep the lagoon from properly draining. In June, three environmental groups won an injunction against the project, claiming that it would disrupt endangered species and ruin Surfrider Beach's famous break. The now-acclaimed Surfrider Foundation was created in 1983 to protest a different version of the lagoon restoration project. Surfrider and many area scientists support the current plan. 

Rear more at MalibuPatch