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Adirondack Explorer

April, 2012

Good news for bats

Little brown bats in hibernation.

Little brown bats were once the most widespread .bat species in New York State, but its population has declined about 90 percent since the discovery of white-nose syndrome in a cave south of Albany several years ago. Now there may be a bit of good news: the latest survey of caves in the Albany region detected an increase .in the number of little browns. “While we remain cautiously optimistic of encouraging trends for some species seen more recently, it will likely take several years before we fully know how to interpret this,” said Kathleen Moser, assistant commissioner of natural resources >>More


October, 2011

Scientists pin down cause of bat disease

A study published in the journal Nature confirms that the disease decimating bat colonies in New York and many other states is caused by a fungus known as Geomyces destructans. Known as white-nose syndrome, the disease causes lesions on the bats’ skin and a white growth on their muzzles. Since its discovery in a cave near Albany in 2006, it has spread to sixteen states and four Canadian provinces. The disease has so devastated bat populations that some species are in danger of extinction. Earlier this year, Winnie Yu reported in the Explorer that the number of little brown bats >>More


November, 2010

Bat die-off continues

White-nose syndrome, the disease decimating bat populations in the Northeast and beyond, is believed to have spread to all known bat caves in New York, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The fungal disease has reduced the populations of some bat species in the state by 90 percent since it was first documented in 2008. The Graphite Mine in Hague, once the largest hibernaculum in the state, has been especially hard hit. The number of little brown bats has fallen from 185,000 to 2,000, DEC says. Two other species, the northern bat and the endangered Indiana bat, have >>More


May, 2010

Our vanishing bats

Over the past four years, the number of endangered Indiana bats in New York State has plummeted about 50 percent. And that’s the good news. The populations of other bat species in the state have fallen as much as 90 percent. State biologist Al Hicks told the Adirondack Park Agency on Thursday that three species—the little brown, northern, and eastern pipistrelle bats—could be extirpated in the Northeast within a few decades. “Extinctions are not out of the question here,” Hicks said. The bats are dying from white-nose syndrome. The disease’s name comes from the white fungus that appears on the >>More