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Friday, November 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Bat fungus already has two species on the ropes

This dead Indiana bat,  found in an abandoned mine in Rosendale, N.Y., died of white-nose syndrome.  (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
This dead Indiana bat, found in an abandoned mine in Rosendale, N.Y., died of white-nose syndrome. (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
ENDANGERED WILDLIFE -- A devastating fungus that has killed off caves full of bats could soon be blamed for threatening the existence of two bat species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that it was launching a 90-day investigation into whether the eastern small-footed bat and the northern long-eared bat need protection under the Endangered Species Act. The two species are the first to be evaluated - and would be the first to be classified as endangered and threatened - because of white-nose syndrome.

Since its discovery in 2006 in the East, the deadly disease - named for the sugary smudges it leaves on noses and wings - has killed more than one million cave-dwelling bats and is moving westward.

State and federal agencies have taken steps to halt its spread, including barring people from caves.



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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