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Posted Thu Jan 14 2010: from
Scientist: Bucks County's bats will be dead by the spring
White-Nose Syndrome, a mysterious disease that is killing off bat populations up and down the Northeast, has finally hit the Durham bat mine. Although state scientists are trying a new, experimental treatment for the disease, commission biologist Greg Turner says it's most likely too late and too little to save the 8,000 to 10,000 little brown bats and other species of bats, which hibernate deep inside an abandoned iron mine tucked into a hillside in Durham. Reports that bats across the Delaware River, in New Jersey, were being affected, brought game commission officials last week to the Durham mine, the second-largest hibernaculum in Pennsylvania. "Right now, the Durham mine is affected," said Turner, an endangered mammal specialist. "About two-thirds of the bats we had handled all had the fungus on them already." He estimates that 80 to 90 percent of Durham's bats will be dead by April, the month when healthy bats emerge from hibernation and begin mating season.
[Read more stories about: white nose syndrome, ecosystem interrelationships]

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