Bats in China are resistant to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, a condition that has decimated bat populations in North America for a decade.
In a study just published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) sampled bats across five hibernation locations in northeastern China and five such sites in the midwestern United States, ensuring that the latitudes and climates were similar.
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"Uniformly, across all the species we sampled in China, we found much lower levels of infection," said the study's lead author, UCSC graduate student Joseph Hoyt, in a press release. "Both the fraction of bats infected and the amount of fungus on infected bats were lower than in North America."
Bats in Asia and Europe are no strangers to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, as it's endemic to both regions. Meanwhile, the illness only started showing up in North American bats in 2006.