Where Have All The Bats In Maine Gone?
Why is Maine’s bat population on the decline? Experts from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife say it is because of something called "white-nose syndrome," according to the Portland Press Herald. 97% of the bat population in Maine has reportedly been affected by this fungal disease, which spread to the Pine Tree State approximately nine years ago.
A biologist from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife told the newspaper:
The fungus grows on the skin tissues of hibernating bats in the winter. This rouses them from hibernation, causing them to consume their winter fat stores and starve before spring.
There are eight species of bats in the state, and one of the most common is the little brown bat. People are not seeing these bats as often, because they are reportedly dying from the disease.
There is currently no cure for white-nose syndrome as per the Press Herald. That's very concerning because one of the many things bats do for the environment is keeping the insect population in check, since they eat bugs.