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White Nose Syndrome Spreads - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

White Nose Syndrome Spreads

Burlington, Vermont - February 9, 2009

A mysterious disease that's killed thousands of hibernating bats has spread to two more states. White nose syndrome is now in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The disease was first discovered in 2007 in caves and mines near Albany, N.Y. It then spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

The endangered Indiana Bat is among the species dying from the syndrome. Those bats hibernate in Vermont and conservation groups fear they could become extinct.

"I don't think anyone wants to think about that, but it is a possibility at least regionally. We may lose some of the species in the Northeast. That would be tragic and would have huge ecological implications," said Mollie Matteson of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Scientists estimate more than 100,000 bats have died from the disease. Mortality in some hibernating colonies has climbed as high as 90 percent.

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

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