Vermont cave hosts survivors of white-nose syndrome

Biologists hope they can help repopulate devastated bat populations

Biologists in Vermont are finding a “glimmer of hope” for how bats may survive white-nose syndrome deep in a cave in Vermont. The cave was one of the first sites where the deadly bat disease was found. Now, scientists are finding little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) that have survived the fungal disease. They hope these bats may serve as a source population to help repopulate the region. White-nose syndrome has wiped out millions of bats across North America.

Other areas are also seeing little brown bats recover. Pennsylvania’s population was nearly eliminated, but now, while the numbers are low, they are increasing. “I’m feeling pretty comfortable,” Greg Turner, of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, told the Associated Press. “We’re not going to be stuck staring down the barrel of extinction.”

Read more from the Associated Press.

Header Image: White-nose syndrome has devastated little brown bat populations. Credit: Jonathan Mays/Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife