Bats May Be Added To Maine’s Endangered Species List
Notice more mosquitoes lately?
For awhile now officials in New England have known that a disease called White Nose Syndrome has been killing off cave-dwelling bats, and now the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is investigating the possibility of adding the Little Brown Bat and the Northern Long-eared Bat to the Endangered Species List.
The Eastern Small-footed Bat may also be classified as "threatened."
In the winter bats hibernate together in caves where they are susceptible to white nose syndrome and the growing of fungus around their muzzles eventually leads to suffocation. The disease first appeared in Maine in 2006.
Where researches once saw hundreds of bats roosting they now only see a dozen or so. The mortality rate has been that bad.
Bats play an important part in Maine's "ecosystem" by controlling the insect population. Without their help, Maine's crops could suffer, and we may be swatting at more mosquitoes.
Hearings were held this week in both Portland and Farmington to get public comment and a bill may soon be presented to the legislature for approval.