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Posted Mon Apr 11 2011: from Center for Biological Diversity, tip via DesdemonaDespair:
Bat-killing White-nose Disease Spreads to Ohio, New Brunswick
Bats in Ohio have now been found with white-nose syndrome, a disease that has been sweeping through bat populations in the eastern United States since 2006. In Maryland, biologists found the disease in a second county, after it first appeared in that state last winter. Also this week, Canadian officials reported the first discovery of the lethal bat malady in New Brunswick. White-nose syndrome, or the pathogenic fungus associated with it, has now been confirmed in 17 states and three provinces. The fast-moving disease has already killed more than 1 million bats in North America. "This disease is burning through our bat populations like a five-alarm fire," said Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, which has pushed for additional research funding of the disease and urged widespread bat-cave closures. "But right now, all we've got from our wildlife agencies is the equivalent of a couple of rusty fire trucks barely out of the station."... "What a lot of people don't realize is that there's much more than just bats at stake, and we don't have a moment to spare in saving them," said Matteson.... To date, the bat-killing fungus has been found as far west as western Oklahoma, bringing it closer to Seattle and Los Angeles than the disease's initial epicenter near Albany, N.Y.
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, white nose syndrome, massive die-off, predator depletion]

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'Doc Jim says:
These bats are canaries in a coal fire.

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