White Nose Syndrome Spreads Across the U.S.
The fungus is known as White Nose Syndrome, and thus far there's been no cure. What's worse is scientists don't even know where it originated. Emerging in the Northeast US about six years ago, it's wiped out thousands of bats with each new occurrence. Found primarily in caves and mines, the disease wakes bats from deep hibernation, forcing them to seek food at a time when no sources are available. Some starve, others die readily from the fungus itself.
Scientists are concerned, as the sheer numbers are overwhelming, and the disease continues to spread. Bats play a critical part in agriculture, thus affecting the economy as well. More info can be found in this blog post, where the Center for Biological Diversity has recently published some amazing numbers concerning bat's value to farmers in Colorado and South Dakota. The information below is an interesting watch... please do if you have a moment!
The two videos below are from 2009 and 2011, so information varies slightly.