batricide

Briefly noted, in “No Time for Bats to Rest Easy’ by Natalie Angier in yesterday’s NYT Science Times:

“A politician in Australia said, ‘Bomb the bats,’ ” Dr. Wang [bat virologist Lin-Fa Wang] said. “But if you do that, you’ll destroy the ecosystem and then you’ll get more infectious disease, not less.” The risks from wanton batricide could well be immediate: Recent research suggests that bats are likeliest to shed viral particles when they are under stress and their numbers are shrinking.

Yes, batricide. I can’t tell whether this is a playful coinage on Angier’s part, or whether bat scientists (chiropterists?) actually use the term.

(The article is absolutely fascinating, by the way.)

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