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Posted Tue Apr 20 2010: from Hartford Courant:
Deadly Bat Fungus Appears To Be Spreading
It's the grim news that wildlife biologists have dreaded all winter: Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection will confirm this morning that population counts of hibernating bats show that they continue to be decimated by the disease known as white-nose syndrome, and that some species might even be threatened with extinction... in one Litchfield County cave from 2007 to 2009, the population of little brown bats plummeted from 2,320 to 108, results that are expected to be even more ominous when the DEP announces its cave counts today... Bats are one of nature's most efficient filters. Individual bats can consume as many as 1,200 mosquitoes and flies an hour as they flit around at night, making them a vital insect-control species. Some species -- such as Connecticut's big brown bat -- also are critical to agriculture because they consume large hatches of insects and moths that swarm upon crops.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, white nose syndrome, massive die-off]

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