A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.
Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.
For the past five years, bats have been disappearing at an alarming rate, falling prey to a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. But they're making an eerie comeback in a new audio exhibit at a national park in Vermont. The exhibit features manipulated recordings of bat calls that are funneled through glass vessels hanging from a studio ceiling.
The U.S. Forest Service says it’s weighing options when it comes to renewing a closure of caves and abandoned mines in Colorado and four other states. The news comes as one environmental group is calling for even more closures in the West to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which has killed millions of bats on the East Coast.
A disease that has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the eastern United States and Canada is making its way west. White-nose syndrome has now been diagnosed in three Missouri bats — the first confirmed cases west of the Mississippi. And scientists say it won't stop there.