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White fungus marks the muzzles of many sick bats (Photo: Al Hicks, NYSDEC)
White fungus marks the muzzles of many sick bats (Photo: Al Hicks, NYSDEC)

"White Nose Syndrome" remains mysterious bat killer

The mysterious "white nose syndrome" has received a lot of media coverage. But little is known about the fungus linked to the deaths of thousands of bats across the northeast. Anxiety is growing over the fate of the animals, one of the region's most effective predators of mosquitos and other insects. Frustration is building among scientists over the slow march toward answers about the cause and possible prevention of the disease. Jonathan Brown talked to the biologist leading the state's effort to learn more about white nose syndrome.  Go to full article
White fungus marks the muzzles of many sick bats (Photo: Al Hicks, NYSDEC)
White fungus marks the muzzles of many sick bats (Photo: Al Hicks, NYSDEC)

Bat disease delays construction of North Country wind farm

White nose syndrome has killed tens of thousands of bats in New York. The disease has spread to Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well. It spread quickly among bats as they huddled together, hibernating in caves over the winter. Researchers found whole colonies, dead, with a puzzling white fungus around their snouts.
Surviving bats are now hunting insects from summer roosts in eaves and trees, as scientists scramble for answers about what killed so many so quickly. Biologists are particularly worried about the impact of 'white nose' on Indiana bats, already on the U.S. endangered species list. The developer of a proposed wind farm in Jefferson County is now holding off on construction as researchers scramble to find out what effect wind turbines have on the bats. Jonathan Brown reports.  Go to full article

Rising gas prices may help, not hurt, tourism

North Country businesses that depend on summer tourism are keeping a worried eye on the rising cost of gas. Concern is growing that many travelers will avoid punishing prices at the pump and simply stay home. But, as Jonathan Brown reports, tourism officials say higher gas prices could help the region attract more visitors.  Go to full article

Air service set to grow in North Country

New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced a deal this week that could expand air service in the North Country. Jonathan Brown has more.  Go to full article

Strong Loonie and ad campaign bringing more Canadians to NNY

More Canadians are driving into northern New York and that's boosting sales at North Country retailers. But, as Jonathan Brown reports, the state is working hard to lure more people across the border and get them to stay longer.  Go to full article

Delays and cancellations lead to summit on Big Sky

North Country passenger flights are still plagued by a high number of delays and cancellations. These problems were first reported when Big Sky Airlines began serving Watertown, Ogdensburg and Massena in April. Officials in Plattsburgh and Lake Clear - near Saranac Lake - are hearing passengers complain of similar problems since the airline began serving these airports this fall. These officials and airport administrators across the region will meet tomorrow to talk about Big Sky. And - as Jonathan Brown reports - the airline isn't paying its bills.  Go to full article

More bears in New York State could mean more hunting

A black bear population boom in New York State has triggered a series of public hearings on how to manage the animals. Jonathan Brown reports.  Go to full article

Gillibrand: House farm bill good for NC farmers

President Bush is threatening to veto the Democrat's version of the Farm Bill, but North Country congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand says the measure puts subsidies in the right hands. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
LGLC's new Bolton Landing facility (Source:  LGLC)
LGLC's new Bolton Landing facility (Source: LGLC)

Conservancy connects land and water on Lake George

This week, North Country Public Radio will be reporting from Lake George. We'll hear an audio postcard from a paddle on Northwest Bay and we'll check in with Dr. Bill Brown, an expert on the Timber rattlesnakes that frequent the lake's shoreline. Today, Brian Mann profiles the Lake George Land Conservancy. At a time when development pressure along the shoreline is growing, the group has preserved more than 10,000 acres.

(We're back on Lake George tomorrow with a Heard Up North from rattlesnake expert Bill Brown. Also, a very cool recording of a Timber rattler encountered on the shore of the lake.)  Go to full article
Searching by canoe.
Searching by canoe.

Searching for the ivory-billed woodpecker

Leah Filo is a biologist with the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. She's spent most of her professional life doing field work with migratory songbirds. In January, she joined the search for a ghost among birds, the ivory-billed woodpecker - and she came back a believer. The ivory-billed was long thought to be extinct - but in April 2005, a partnership led by Cornell University's ornithology lab formally announced the rediscovery of the ivory-billed in an area of Arkansas bottom land swamp known as the Big Woods. They cited "visual encounters", a video clip, and sounds linked to ivory-bills. Not everyone believes. Since then, scientists and volunteers have been scouring likely habitat for more sightings. Leah Filo volunteered to help and found herself spending two weeks in the very Big Woods of the 2005 sightings -- along the White River in Arkansas. It was wet and chilly -- nights in the 30s, days in the 40s. It's bottom land forest, mostly deciduous woods that flood frequently. Leah spent most of her time in waders. She kept lots of notes, and kept an audio journal as well. She spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

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