White Nose Syndrome threatens bats

6:28 PM, Mar 19, 2012   |    comments
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Oxford County, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- White Nose Syndrome is a fungus which is killing bats. It was first discovered in the United States in 2006 and reached Maine last year. It is devastating to certain species of bats including the most common bat in our region, the Little Brown.

State Biologist John DePue is currently studying the syndrome's in Maine's bat populations. A visit to a mine where the disease was first discovered in Maine last year reveals the devastating effects.  Just two bats were seem where about fifty had been expected.

"It's estimated that a site that gets infected with White Nose Syndrome sees about 90 percent mortality," said DePue.  "This is even higher than that."

Biologist Dave Yates leads a bat study for the Biodiversity Research Institute. He hopes the public will stay out of caves and abandoned mines this year. "The syndrome is not harmful to humans, but they can easily spread it from cave to cave."

Anyone who has bats nesting in an attic or barn are asked not to disturb the population until the pups can fly which they will do by August 14 this year.

Click here to learn more about White Nose Syndrome.

There is also a Summer Emergence Count being done this year. People who have bats in a dwelling are being asked to count their population twice and then report it to the state.


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