VT & NY Bats Winter in Maine to Survive White Nose

Apr 10, 2013

Abandoned bunkers such as this may provide optimal conditions for bats to escape white-nose syndrome.
Credit Scott Darling/Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Scientists working to help bats survive the devastating disease known as white nose syndrome say a number of infected bats spent the winter in an abandoned Maine bunker.

Thirty little brown bats spent the winter in an abandoned bunker in Maine to determine if they are able to survive in an artificial environment free of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome.
Credit Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

In an experiment aimed at finding alternative strategies to save infected bats, 30 hibernating little brown bats were taken from caves in Vermont and New York and transported to the bunker at a National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone, Maine.

Vermont scientists say that of the 30 bats, nine survived, a higher survival rate than expected by bats in the wild. The bats were transported back to Vermont and New York and released in the wild last week.

Scientists say the so-called Noah's Ark strategy might serve as a last resort to save some bat species from local extinction.

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