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Posted Sun Oct 11 2009: from Glen Falls Post-Star (NY):
Mystery in the darkness
The cave near the western shore of Lake George in the town of Hague has long been one of the biggest winter homes to little brown bats in North America. A count of bats in the mid-1990s led to the conclusion that 185,000 of the tiny mammals hibernated there, and state wildlife officials believe that number likely topped 200,000 a few years later. Last winter, when biologists from the state Department of Environmental Conservation visited the cave, they concluded there were somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 left, said Alan Hicks, a DEC wildlife biologist. Another cave near Paradox Lake in Essex County has been similarly devastated by a mysterious disease that kills the bats as they hibernate during the winter. "There's not a (bat) population in the Adirondacks that hasn't been affected," said Alan Hicks, a DEC wildlife biologist who is heading the state's efforts to investigate. "Iím not looking forward to this winter."
[Read more stories about: white nose syndrome, death spiral]

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'Doc Michael says:
Hope those 2000-3,000 left are ornery survivors. And routinely bear twins.

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