Bat Signal

Bats are dying in record numbers, heralding a real problem for peopl

Bill Bachman—Alamy

Bat Signal. Bats Dying in Record Numbers.

There's an animal apocalypse afoot in the Northeastern U.S. Between 5.7 million and 6.7 million bats are estimated to have died since 2006 from white-nose fungus--an infection marked by the telltale white fuzz around their noses--in 16 U.S. states and Canada, according to officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The new estimate finds that the death toll is far worse than wildlife biologists had believed, perhaps five to six times as high as a previous count in 2009, and it could spell disaster--not just for the animals but for humans as well.

The deadly fungus has the potential to...

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