Bat-killing fungus confirmed in Acadia National Park

Posted March 20, 2012, at 1:55 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2012, at 5:30 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The National Park Service says a mysterious ailment that has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States has been discovered in Maine’s Acadia National Park.

Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele says he is disappointed that what is known as white-nose syndrome has been confirmed. The fungus is harmless to humans but is lethal to bats, which play an important role in healthy ecosystems by managing mosquitoes and other biting insects.

White-nose syndrome was discovered previously elsewhere in Maine. It gets its name because infected bats have white fungus on their muzzles.

Steele says the park service is working with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center to find ways to reduce the spread in Maine’s bat populations.

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