White-nose syndrome is deadly for bats, and the disease has now been reported in bats that hibernate in Michigan.
Eastern Michigan University biology professor Dr. Allen Kurta is a nationally-respected bat expert. He says Michigan is populated by nine species of bats, five of which spend their winters in caves or abandoned mines here.
"In Michigan, most of our bats that hibernate underground are doing so in the western Upper Peninsula in abandoned copper mines and abandoned iron mines," Dr. Kurta says. "There are only four locations I believe outside the western UP that we know of with any hibernating bats in them."
Dr. Kurta says 90 percent of the bats that hibernate in Michigan will likely succumb to white-nose syndrome over the next three to five years.
In addition to losing what Dr. Kurta calls these "neat creatures", there's the fact that bats are the primary predator of nocturnal insects to consider.