Disease Forces Wisconsin State Park to Cancel Bat Program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin state park has canceled its summer bat watch program due to a fungal disease decimating the park’s bat population.

The Baraboo News Republic reports that a disease known as white-nose syndrome has spread among the brown bat population in Devil’s Lake State Park. The disease causes white fungus to form on the muzzle, wings, ears, and other parts of infected bats.

Park naturalist Sue Johansen says in one year the brown bat population has dropped form 200 bats to fewer than 20.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation biologist Paul White says the disease first turned up at a site in Grant County. It’s since spread to more than 60 areas across the state.

White says there’s no known cure for the syndrome.

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