New Fungus Linked to Bat Die-Offs

Scientists probe mass deaths in caves
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 9:55 AM CDT
New Fungus Linked to Bat Die-Offs
Bats in an abandoned mine in Rosendale, New York. Bats are mysteriously dying off by the thousands and now scientists have a clue to the cause.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Scientists have identified a new fungus that might be responsible for the mass deaths of bats in the Northeast. If the findings are borne out, they could help researchers understand and eventually stop the contagion—dubbed white-nose syndrome—that has wiped out entire colonies in their caves, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"I have been studying bats for 40-plus years, and this is unparalleled in the history of what I know about bats," said a Boston University biologist. Similar colony collapses have occurred among bees and frogs. "These are all canaries in the mine that we need to pay attention to," said another researcher. (More bats stories.)

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