Patrick Timpone


Don Mitchell

Author of Flying Blind: One Man’s Adventures Battling Buckthorn, Making Peace with Authority and Creating a Home for Endangered Bats

Climate change. Colony collapse disorder. Is the white-nose syndrome that has killed upwards of seven million bats over the past seven years related to these crises? Will it decimate entire bat species or, like the Spanish flu epidemic almost a century ago, will it claim the most vulnerable while leaving those that remain stronger for the encounter?

These are questions Don Mitchell pondered from his Vermont home as white-nose syndrome spread from the near-by cave–in which it was first discovered in 2006–to hibernacula (hibernation sites) up and down the East Coast. But because he owned 150 acres of farm and forest that had already proven a welcoming habitat for bats, he decided to work with the state–if with some reluctance–to transform his woods into a refuge for what he then referred to as those “flying rats.”

Flying Blind is Mitchell’s story of bats navigating this deadly epidemic and his efforts, however tenuous and unsure, to help them survive. It is also the story of one man’s quite unexpected flight into his own pitch-black past, where he encountered his authoritarian father, the hippie youth he once was and the man and father he would ultimately become.

Show Highlights:

-What is White-Nosed Syndrome? And where did it come from?

-Why should we care about over 7 million bat deaths? The impact on human health

-Promoting a safe envoronment for bats to live and thrive

-Colony collapse disorder in bees

This is a truly facinating discussion. Enjoy!

Don Mitchell 2



don mitchell on bat white nose fungus, november 18, 2013

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