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Scientists Look At Hangers-On Amid Mass Die-Off Of Bats

Little Brown Bat with White Nose Syndrome in Greeley Mine, VT
Joel Flewelling/Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

As white-nose syndrome kills millions of bats across North America, there's a glimmer of hope at hibernation spots where it first struck a decade ago: Some bats in some caves are hanging on.

Researchers trying to figure out why winter populations of bats in some hibernation sites appear to have stabilized are looking at everything from behavior to cave conditions. Their answers about the persistence of the species known as little brown bats could be critical in dealing with the devastating fungal infection.

The populations of little browns appear to have stabilized in some locations in upstate New York and Vermont, the region where dead bats were found starting in 2006.

White nose eventually spread beyond the Northeast and then beyond. It has been confirmed in 28 states.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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