YES-BAT is a project of the National Research Council, Water Research Institute CNR-IRSA of Verbania in collaboration with the Stazione Teriologica Piemontese

First Isolation of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Fungal Causative Agent of White-Nose Disease, in Bats from Italy

By L. Garzoli, M. Riccucci, E. Patriarca, P. Debernardi, A. Boggero, L. Pecoraro, A. M. Picco

White-nose disease, caused by the dermatophyte Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is a devastating pathology that has caused a massive decline in the US bat populations. In Europe, this fungus and the related infection in bats have been recorded in several countries and for many bat species, although no mass mortality has been detected. This study reports for the first time the presence of P. destructans in Italy. The fungus was isolated in the Rio Martino cave, a site located in the Western Alps and included in the Natura 2000 network. Twenty bats, belonging to five different species, were analysed. The fungus was retrieved on eight individuals of Myotis emarginatus. The allied keratolytic species P. pannorum was observed on two other individuals, also belonging to M. emarginatus. Strains were isolated in pure culture and characterized morphologically. Results were validated through molecular analyses. Future work should be dedicated to understand the distribution and the effects of the two Pseudogymnoascus species on Italian bats

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YES!BAT at the 9th International Forum of Food and Nutrition

The results of our project “YES!BAT Sustainable Rice Fields: say YES! to bats” will be presented at the 9th International Forum of Food and Nutrition in Milan, the 27th-28th of November 2018.

The 28th of November, at 2.45 PM, in the wonderful Hangar Bicocca, we will show the achievements obtained in this wonderful year of research and field experiments.

Thanks to BCFN Foundation contribution, research institutes (CNR-IRSA of Verbania, Stazione Teriologica Piemontese, Università Statale di Milano), farmers (Riso Preciso, Cascina Canta, Cascina Bettola), associations, volunteers, students, and technicians, cooperated to accomplish our project in defence of biodiversity, in light of those changes to be achieved for a sustainable agriculture and toward a better future for our generation.

Beside us, several national and international experts will participate the forum.Here you can find the agenda and you can register to participate the forum

If you are unable to visit Hangar Bicocca the 27-28 of November, you can still watch the live forum through BCFN Social media channels!


Angela Boggero, researcher at CNR-ISE, tells us about YES!BAT

Entomological Research Manager of YES!BAT, Dr. Angela Boggero, researcher at National Research Council – Institute for Ecosystem Study of Verbania Pallanza, tells us about her idea of sustainability


YES!BAT: how was the idea born?

The idea was born the day I was contacted by the staff of the Stazione Teriologica Piemontese because they needed an expert on the identification of insects present in the guano produced by bats. Being experienced on aquatic insects, I needed to extend my knowledge also on terrestrial insects. Chatting about the working methodology, we decided to develop a project idea that would allow us to find resources that would cover the travel expenses to contact with foreign researchers working on the same theme. We thought that the rice fields could be an ideal habitat for working on bats and their diet at the same time, because there, most of the diet is certainly based on aquatic insects.


How is it going so far and what are the expectations?

We never thought about winning the call. We simply submitted a proposal, as we submitted other ideas in other project calls. What I can say is that we obtained a significant positive feedback, not only within Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation, but also among farmers that sustain the project, Riso Preciso, Cascina Canta and Cascina Bettola, and among those who practice rice-agriculture and other cultivations. Indeed, the project is going faster than ever anticipated.

The expectations that initially were very few, have now grown, and therefore we think we can develop a similar methodology to be used by farmers in the fruit and vegetable sector, where the arrival of alien species is causing considerable damages. The latter, developed ad hoc, could contribute to the reduction in the use of pesticides, thus obtaining organic products, but also could stop the spread of pests that damage the production of individual farmers.


What is your idea of sustainability and how do you work in this direction?

A sustainable development is a development that meets current and future needs. And I stress “future needs”. It is therefore an ever-changing process that requires not only environmentally sustainable, but also economic and social solutions.

The Institute where I am working (Institute of Ecosystem Study of the CNR) has always been struggling to ensure that aquatic environments are preserved in natural or almost natural conditions, has contributed to the recovery of freshwater environments and has developed standardised monitoring methodologies and metrics useful to assess the ecological status of freshwaters at the national level in support of the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea.


SDGs goals: what is CNR-ISE contribution?

Seventeen are the objectives that demonstrate the core of the ideas of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that involve the economic, social and environmental. The CNR-ISE already guarantees its contribution within themes such as: protection of the environment from degradation, also through consumption and eco-sustainable management of the water resource, as well as through information actions on climate change and possible future scenarios, and law enforcement actions.

All this with a view to contributing to improving human life, especially when it is developed in harmony with the surrounding nature, i.e. through the improvement of ecosystem services and quality of life.


YES!BAT has been presented at the International Journalism Festival of Perugia, in the panel “End poverty, protect the planet, ensure prosperity for all? Food is the answer”. Can you give us your opinion about how food can be the answer?

The answer is in a different mode of nutrition: not only do meats provide proteins and other macronutrients that are fundamental to our body. A proper diet would help to reduce the problems related to obesity, dysfunction, and other diseases that we have seen have a strong relationship with the diet followed. This is because both meat production and agriculture rely heavily on the use of plant protection products and other substances that support higher production. More natural products would support better nutrition and better adapted to the needs of life, would make the planet a better and healthier place to live and above all help to solve problems related to poverty. How many poor people can afford a source of food like meat? Few, so the answer is in food: a better and more varied vegetable diet that does not completely exclude meat, but that drastically reduces it.


Researcher and vegetarian, what is, in your opinion, the food of the future?

Unfortunately, I must admit that it is probable that the insects, which I am dealing with, will become part of the food of the future because our planet is no longer able to sustain such a high production of meat, despite the increase in wealth in the countries of the third world let us understand that this will be the choice. Nutritional choices, with mass movements linked to wars and climate changes, are shifting towards new sources of food and man is characterized by curiosity towards the new, new foods and new ways of cooking food.

This allows me to make a joke smiling: just as a vegetarian, I will be out of all this and I’m happy. I have never loved meat and I would not have to see an insect enter my dishes!

YES!BAT is presented in the UN SDSN 2018 Youth Solution Report!

YES! We did it! YES!BAT is among the 50 selected project of the new 2018 Youth Solution Report of the United Nation Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The organization has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.


You can download here the pubblication, or visit the websites:

Youth Solution Report 2018


United Nation – Sustainable Development Solution Network


23 May – Book launch “Gente di Riso”

On May 23rd 2018, 10.00 A.M., the new book by Gianfranco Quaglia, “Gente di Riso” (transl. People of Rice), will be presented at the Sala Leonardo of the Associazione Iirrigazione Est Sesia in Novara.

The book is published by the Decima Musa Publishing House.

The preface of volume, which collects and tells the stories of the “people of rice”, is written by Bruno Gambarotta that will intervene at the book launch.

The book contain the story of YES!BAT project.

A light lunch will follow the presentation, curated by Gianpiero Cravero and Paolo Rovellotti.

Gianfranco Quaglia, journalist and former editorial editor of La Stampa Novara, is the Chairman of the Discipline Council of the Order of Journalists of Piedmont.

YES!BAT at IJF18 – Today the live streaming!

YES!BAT at the International Journalism Festival of Perugia!

April 12th, Tuesday, 12PM to 1.15 PM!

You can not come? Follow the live streaming on BCFN website and twitter!

How can we end poverty, ensure prosperity and food for all? How can we protect our planet? And above all, how can bats be the answer?? What do you think? Let’s discuss about it!


Here some spoilers!


YES!BAT presented March 13 and 15 at Piedmont Region within operation 441 of PSR

Don’t miss the presentation of YES!BAT project on March 13 and 15. An opportunity to discuss about the goals and aims of the project also in light with the Rural Development Plan PSR of the Piedmont Region, action 441.

Here some information:

Two meetings are scheduled for the call for the “Operation 4.4.1 – Natural elements for the agro-ecosystem” by the Agriculture Department – Rural Development Planning Sector. The operation finances non-productive investments (hedges, rows, wetlands, structures for wildlife) to support the agro-climatic-environmental objectives of the PSR and in particular of biodiversity, landscape and quality of water and soil. The meetings will be held

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 10-12.30, at the building of the Agricoltura del territorio of Vercelli, via Manzoni, 8 / a – Vercelli (2nd floor)

Thursday, March 15, 2018 10-12.30, at the building of the Agriculture of the territory of Cuneo (Provveditorato studies) in Corso De Gasperi, 40 – Cuneo (ground floor)

More information of the Regione Piemonte website


YES!BAT at the International Journalism Festival! 12 April 2018

Save the date! YES!BAT will be presented at the International Journalism Festival of Perugia, the 12 of April!

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this wonderful city and to get in touch with the most important expert in the field of communication!

End poverty, protect the planet, ensure prosperity for all? Food is the answer


Media and information have a major role to play in increasing the awareness and knowledge on the SDGs and promote their incorporation in development reporting for social change, challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation.

The BCFN panel aims at providing journalists and journalism students with information, tools and strategies to understand the complex issues surrounding the SDGs through the lens of sustainable food systems, agriculture, nutrition and climate change.

The event will also be the occasion to discuss together for a greater and effective engagement of journalists, media professionals and the general public on the implementation of the SDGs.


Aligning the Food Sustainability Index with the SDGs – LUDOVICA PRINCIPATO, Ph.D. Researcher BCFN Foundation, Researcher Roma Tre University

Food and Migration. Understanding the geo-political nexus in the context of the Mediterranean – LUCIO CARACCIOLO, President and Head of Geopolitics, Macrogeo

Young Earth Solutions to food sustainability: SAY YES to BATS! – LAURA GARZOLI, STeP e CNR-ISE, Winner, 2017 BCFN YES!

Moderator: LUCA DI LEO, Head of Media Relations, BCFN Foundation

More information on ijf webpage!