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What you need to know for 01/22/2017

New Hampshire bat population continues to decline

New Hampshire bat population continues to decline

While Vermont and New York are reporting some signs of recovery, white nose syndrome continues to de
New Hampshire bat population continues to decline
This little brown bat with white-nose syndrome hangs in a Vermont cave in March 2009.
Photographer: The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — While Vermont and New York are reporting some signs of recovery, white nose syndrome continues to devastate New Hampshire's bat population.

Biologists surveying caves and mines where bats spend the winter found only 28 bats, dashing hopes that this year might mark a turning point. The disease has killed millions of bats across the northeast, and several species in New Hampshire have declined by nearly 99 percent.

White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that prompts bats to wake from their winter hibernation and die when they fly into the frigid, insect-less winter landscape. It was detected in 2006 in a cave in New York and since then has been spreading across North America killing at least a million bats.

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