White nose syndrome continues its spread across the state

1-IMG_7777A fungal infection that’s killing large numbers of bats is continuing to spread across the country and across the state.

When White Nose Syndrome first appeared in Michigan it impacted just five counties, including Mackinac and Alpena.

In four-years, it’s spread to seven more.

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources say the infection can kill up to 90% of the bats it comes into contact with.

Dan O’Brien is with the Department of Natural Resources. He said the ecological impact of the bat deaths isn’t yet known.

“We don’t know, there’s a lot of things about bats that we don’t know. I think we’re only beginning to appreciate some of the far reaching ecological effects we could be seeing because of the decline in bat numbers.”

O’Brien says said the fungus was first detected in New York in 2006. Since then, it’s made it as far as the plains states. He says scientists are still trying to find a way to treat or prevent the disease.