Bat disease still spreading across Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A fatal bat disease continues to spread across Wisconsin.

The state Department of Natural Resources says over-winter surveillance shows white-nose syndrome or the fungus that causes it is now present in 14 counties, up from eight after over-winter surveillance that ended in 2015. The new counties include Douglas, Iron, Pierce, Manitowoc, Sauk and Green.

Surveys showed a 94 percent drop in bat populations at the Grant County mine where the disease was first found in Wisconsin in 2014.

More than 6 million bats across 28 states have died since white-nose syndrome was discovered in New York in 2006.

The DNR has imposed decontamination procedures for cave-goers to prevent white-nose syndrome from spreading and added four bat species to the state’s threatened species list.

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