Educator Resources

Class Discussion
Establish Prior Knowledge

Discuss bats with students. Have them identify what benefits bats provide to the environment. Tell students that in the Snapshot they are about to see, they will learn about a mysterious disease that is killing thousands of bats in the Northeast United States.

Exploration

Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Working in small groups, have students research and report on the one of the following questions:

  • What role do bats play in the ecosystem?

http://www.fws.gov/endangered/bats/bats.htm
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Chiroptera.html

http://desertgardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/bats_pollinate_desert_plants

  • What is white-nose syndrome, how is it spread, and what is a possible treatment?

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/white_nose.html
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/whitenose/Blehert_et_al_2008_WNS_fungus_total.pdf
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/03/a-treatment-for-white-nose-syndrome.ars

  • How might cavers spread the disease and how can this be avoided?

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/wnscaveadvisory.html
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/whitenosemessage.html
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/whitenosemessage.html#containment

 

Wrap-up

Have groups present their reports to the class. Discuss what actions are being taken to save bats from white-nose syndrome, and brainstorm other ways to stop the spread of the disease.