Generations of bats continue to fall victim to White Nose Syndrome. The death toll for the North American bat stands at more than 5-and-a-half million, and biologists expect the disease will spread.
At least 7 bat species in the U.S. have had significant declines, among them the Little Brown Bat and the Tri-Colored. As for the Northern Long-Eared Bat, which used to be seen in the Northeast, White Nose has caused a 99 percent drop in its population.
If it wasn’t obvious already, Long-Eared Bats are up for endangered species designation by the federal government. The public comment period closes in early January.
Jeremy Coleman is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and based in Hadley, Massachusetts. He says never in our lifetime has a mammalian species been so decimated by nature itself.
Scientists are slowing getting some clues to White Nose. Coleman says there are still a lot of unknowns since the fungus was found in New York state a few years ago. It possibly first came here from Europe.