Skip Navigation
on:

NCPR is supported by:

News stories tagged with "bats"

Dead and dying bats in Vermont's Aeolus Cave (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Dead and dying bats in Vermont's Aeolus Cave (Photo: Brian Mann)

Story 2.0: Lake George bat cave nearly depopulated by 'white nose syndrome'

State Conservation biologist Al Hicks says the old Graphite Mine in the town of Hague near Lake George has seen its population of Little Brown Bats nearly wiped out. Hicks spoke over the weekend at a gathering of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy in Newcomb. He said the hibernaculum, which sits in a Nature Conservancy Preserve, has been infected by a deadly bat disease called "white nose syndrome."

"The Graphite Mine was the largest Little Brown colony counted in the world, with about 200,000 animals," Hicks said. "Our guess walking through was that there was about 3,000 animals left."

Hicks first raised the alarm about white nose syndrome in 2007. He said the latest research indicates that the disease continues to spread in all directions. "We have not seen any clear evidence yet of any kind of resistance," he added. "The animals that are surviving from one year to the next appear to be animals that simply got lucky and didn't get infected." White nose is now killing bats in at least nine states. Hicks predicted that under the worst case scenario "an entire order of mammals" would be wiped out from the United States.

As part of our Story 2.0 series, we revisit Hicks' trip to Aeolus Cave in Vermont last winter.  Go to full article
Dr. Brock Fenton's researchers fix tiny bats with radio transmitters (Source:  B. Fenton)
Dr. Brock Fenton's researchers fix tiny bats with radio transmitters (Source: B. Fenton)

As bat disease spreads, a Willsboro church becomes a laboratory

This summer, researchers are fanning out across the Northeast trying to get a clearer picture of what is happening to the region's bats. Scientists say many bat colonies have been wiped out by a fungal disease, called white-nose syndrome, first detected in 2006. One of the big questions still unanswered is how white-nose syndrome is transmitted. Brian Mann joined a team of biologists studying bats in an old church in Willsboro in the Champlain Valley.  Go to full article
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source:  C. Herzog, NYSDEC)
Carl Herzog checks his equipment before a night on the road (Source: C. Herzog, NYSDEC)

Bat songs in the Adirondacks silenced by white nose syndrome

This summer, researchers across the Northeast are working to measure the impact of white nose syndrome, a deadly disease that has wiped out bat population in the region. Scientists say whole colonies have been obliterated. Brian Mann rode along on a survey in the Adirondacks and has our story.  Go to full article
Dead bats on the floor of a cave in Vermont (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Dead bats on the floor of a cave in Vermont (Photo: Brian Mann)

At House panel, researchers call for action against devastating bat disease

A panel of experts testified on Capitol Hill yesterday about the devastating spread of "white nose syndrome," first detected in a Schoharie County cave in February 2006. They called it the biggest single threat to wildlife in the last century. The disease, named for the whitish dusting the fungus creates on bats' noses, ears and wings, has decimated bat populations across the Northeast is spreading rapidly into the mid-Atlantic and now into Canada. As Brian Mann reports, yesterday's hearing was part of an effort to win more money for research and response.  Go to full article
Mollie Matteson (Source: Center for Biological Diversity
Mollie Matteson (Source: Center for Biological Diversity

As "white nose" syndrome spreads, green groups want more funds for bat research

On Thursday morning in Washington DC, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on "white nose" syndrome. The mysterious ailment was first identified in upstate New York. It has since spread across the Northeast, killing hundreds of thousands of bats. Green groups are urging Congress to commit millions of dollars for new research and response efforts. Brian Mann spoke with Mollie Matteson in Richmond, Vermont. She's with a group called the Center for Biological Diversity.  Go to full article
A bat in Vermont's Aeolus Cave frozen in icicle (Source:  Brian Mann)
A bat in Vermont's Aeolus Cave frozen in icicle (Source: Brian Mann)

Scientists battling "white nose" bat disease prepare for worst

The mysterious ailment called "White-nose Syndrome" continues to decimate bat populations across the Northeast. A new outbreak was confirmed earlier this month in New Hampshire and the disease has spread as far as West Virginia. Scientists have begun collecting tissue from infected caves, here in the North Country and in Vermont, creating a genetic record of bat colonies that could vanish completely. As part of a collaboration with public radio stations across the Northeast, Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Little brown bats carpet the floor of Aeolus Cave in southern Vermont.
Little brown bats carpet the floor of Aeolus Cave in southern Vermont.

White nose syndrome spreading

Scientists are still scrambling to understand the mysterious bat ailment known as white nose syndrome. The disease is spreading fast, with new outbreaks confirmed in New Hampshire earlier this month and suspected in West Virginia. Todd Moe spoke with NCPR's Brian Mann who's been covering this story. He spent yesterday in a cave on Aeolus Mountain in southern Vermont.  Go to full article
Al Hicks inspects a bat for white nose syndrome.
Al Hicks inspects a bat for white nose syndrome.

New breakthrough in study of "white nose" bat disease

Researchers in New York state and around the country have made a major breakthrough in their study of "white nose syndrome." That's the mysterious ailment that's been killing thousands of bats (including endangered Indiana bats) in New York, Vermont, and around the Northeast. NPR's Dan Charles reported on the study; Brian Mann was in the cave with New York's top specialist, Al Hicks.  Go to full article

A check-in with Maple Ridge wind farm

Iberdrola is one of the owners of the Maple Ridge wind farm on the Tug Hill Plateau. With 195 turbines spanning miles of ridgeline, it's the largest wind farm in the East. Bill Moore is an energy consultant for Iberdrola. Starting in the late 1990s, Moore was the man who went door-to-door to persuade local residents to welcome wind power. Today the project has been producing electricity for almost three years. David Sommerstein asked Bill Moore how it's been going. They talk about megawatts, bird and bat mortality, and the vicious debate over wind power in the North Country.

Since their conversation, the New York Times reported that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down sometimes because regional electric lines have been too congested to send the power downstate. Moore wouldn't talk about the article on tape. But he did confirm that Maple Ridge has had to shut down its turbines "about half a dozen times a year." Moore said that happens during the spring and fall, when electricity demand is lowest. He said as more wind farms come online in Clinton and Jefferson Counties, the problem could get worse. He agreed with the basic premise of the Times story, that wind energy is hampered by "insufficient grid capacity" to deliver electricity from where the wind blows to where the most people are.  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)

"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

« first  « previous 10  11-30 of 29  next -1 »  last »