Mysterious Bat Deaths in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts

  “I have yet to meet a bat biologist anywhere in North America  who does not say, ‘Oh, wow! This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’”

– Alan Hicks, N. Y. Dept. of Environmental Conservation

 

Eight Little Brown Bats hanging upside down in hibernation west of Albany, New York, inside Hailes Cave in winter 2007. Unidentified white fungus rings the noses on seven. Bat mortality in two caves affected by the white-nose syndrome was 90% and 97%. By February 2008, the white-nose syndrome has spread to twenty caves in New York state, southwestern Vermont and western Massachusetts. Image © 2007 by Nancy Heaslip.
Eight Little Brown Bats hanging upside down in hibernation west of Albany, New York, inside Hailes Cave in winter 2007. Unidentified white fungus rings the noses on seven. Bat mortality in two caves affected by the white-nose syndrome was 90% and 97%. By February 2008, the white-nose syndrome has spread to twenty caves in New York state, southwestern Vermont and western Massachusetts. Image © 2007 by Nancy Heaslip.

February 29, 2008  Albany, New York - Thousands of bats are sick, or dead, in at least 20 northeastern U. S. caves. So far, not a single laboratory examining tissues has come up with the cause of death. The physical anomalies in some, but not all, of the dead or dying bats are white rings of fungus around their noses and lung tissue inflammation, similar to pneumonia.

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