Part of a special feature called "Maine After Dark." Tens of thousands of bats have disappeared from Maine’s skies because of a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. The disease is caused by a fungus, not native to the U.S., and has hit the state’s hibernating bats particularly hard, wiping out 90 to 100% of them. Federal and state agencies and nonprofit organizations are collaborating in their response to the disaster. The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, for example, worked with state biologists in New York and Vermont to bring thirty hibernating little brown bats to a climate-controlled bunker in Limestone in the hopes of providing them a sterile environment for the winter. This winter, scientists will bring petri dishes of the fungus to the bunkers in their ongoing effort to understand the unprecedented die-off.
Bats, White-nose syndrome
Wright, Virginia M., "Silent Night." (2013). Maine News Index - Down East Magazine. 4145.