White-Nose Syndrome Still Killing Bats

More on PawNation: white nose syndrome, WhiteNoseSyndrome
Little brown bat with white nose syndrome picture

Little brown bat; close-up of nose with fungus.
Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

As winter approaches and millions of North American bats settle into caves to hibernate, experts fear that many will die before spring from the still-mysterious white-nose syndrome. The disease was first identified in New York in 2006, according to Discovery News. Since then it has only spread, and some experts warn it could advance as far as Indiana.

No one is sure exactly how white-nose syndrome works or where it came from, but apparently the "white nose" results from a fungus that infects the bats while they hibernate. Researchers are trying to figure out how white-nose syndrome spreads, why it kills the bats, and how it can be prevented before bats become entirely extinct.

Not a bat fan? Consider this: Bats eat about 600 insects a night. (And you thought your potato-chip binge was bad!) That means the fewer bats there are, the more bugs. And that's sure to bug even the biggest bat-hater.

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