Fatal bat disease spreads in 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.

   Surveys showed a 94 percent drop in bat populations at the Grant County mine where the disease was first found in Wisconsin in 2014. One site where the disease was discovered in 2015 had no bats left.

   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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