Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tucson

Climate Change Leads to More Rabid Bat Exposure

Bats flying over the planet. Climate change linked to the spread of bat-borne diseases.

Independent birds/ George Trumpeter/

A recent study published in the journal Ecography links climate change to the spread of bat-borne diseases. By examining the common vampire bat distribution in North America over the last century, the scientists concluded that its range had expanded north in response to changes in climate, and that a rise in rabies transmission from bats to cattle in the last 50 years was related to that expansion. The research suggests that climate change could make it easier for bat-borne pathogens like rabies, encephalitis and severe acute respiratory syndrome to spread to animals and humans, underscoring the potential public health threats of a changing climate.