Concord — January 10, 2010– Bat populations in caves struck by deadly white-nose syndrome have plunged by up to 93 percent, according to a survey of Northeast hibernation sites at the epicenter of the spreading scourge.
White-nose, named for the smudges of fungus on the noses and wings of hibernating bats, is estimated to have killed more than a million bats in nine states [including New Hampshire] since it was first noticed in a cluster of caves in upstate New York in 2006.
Caves and mines littered with bat carcasses have become a common wintertime sight since then. But the survey released Wednesday by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation quantifies just how deadly white-nose can be for individual bat species.
“It really raises a question as to whether they can sustain this or not, and how long it will be before they disappear if this trend continues,” said Al Hicks, a state wildlife biologist.