Officials with New Hampshire Fish and Game have confirmed that bats infected with White Nose Syndrome have been detected in Rockingham County for the first time.
White nose was first detected on bats in Rockingham in 2010, but this March was the first time bats were visibly infected with the fungus. Fish and Game biologist Emily Brunkhurst says the disease has devastated bat populations in the Northeast.
Brunkhurst: We have lost, 99 percent of Northern long-eared bats and little brown bats. That’s thouands, and thousands and thousands of bats, just in New Hampshire.
Brunkhurst says the loss of so many bats could mean more pest insects, but this hasn’t been studied.
Brunkhurst: We’re not quite sure, I think we’re gonna find out.
While fish and game is discouraged to find white nose in Rockingham, they say that citizens can help.
Brunkhurst: if you’ve got a maternity colony in your house or barn and you can let them be, let them do the breeding for years, that would be fabulous.
White nose syndrome has killed bats in nineteen states and four Canadian provinces. It has spread from New England, all the the way to Iowa.