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Wed., Dec. 22, 2010, 10:29 a.m.

Bats taking a beating from fungal disease

WILDLIFE -- It hasn't been detected yet in the West, but a flesh-eating fungus known as white-nose syndrome is devastating bat populations in the eastern half of the United States.

In the past four years, more than one million bats from at least seven species are estimated to have died from the disease named for the way it covers their snouts like baby powder.
 
This year, as white nose sweeps west from Northeast states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania to Oklahoma, scientists are bracing for the worst. The impact on crops and native plants has not been assessed as the helpful insect-controlling bats are decimated.
 
See maps and read the latest in today's Washington Post story.



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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