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A little brown bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont, in 2010. | View larger imageBy Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers
By Renee Schoof McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — White-nose syndrome, the disease that’s killed millions of insect-eating bats, keeps getting worse. It’s made a thumb-sized bat rare in parts of New England and has spread through most of the Eastern U.S., as far west as Missouri. Now another species has it, the endangered gray bat of caves in the Southeast.
The loss of bats is serious because they provide natural pest control. They live throughout the country, and the disease could end up almost everywhere as well. In places where bat populations have been lost, it could be decades before they recover, scientists say.