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Nature and Environment

News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.

Bad News for Bats: White Nose Syndrome Persists

By Alison Rogers

Tags: Wildlife, threatened and endangered species,

Little Brown Bat Resized 

Reports of the mysterious white nose syndrome, a fungal phenomenon that has reduced certain bat populations to near extinction levels, seem to have died down of late. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the disease is doing the same.

One species in particular has scientists worried. This fall, when the Virginia Big-Eared Bats return to their caves for their six-month hibernation, there’s some concern that they won’t emerge in the spring. Learn more about what the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park is doing to keep the species alive (thanks to a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and about white nose syndrome itself.

Photo by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Little Brown Bat showing symptoms of white nose syndrome.