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Bats have been nearly wiped out in states including Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont by white-nose syndrome. A survey of six species at 42 sites in those states found that their numbers have declined by almost 90 percent.
But it might already be too late to save some bats in the Northeast. Two species could become extinct in Mid-Atlantic states in as few as seven years, scientists said
Migratory bats, which don't hibernate, aren't affected, said Don Wilson, curator emeritus for the Smithsonian's Division of Mammals, because "they tend not to use caves.
White-nose syndrome kills bats hibernating in caves; the fungus spreads when people track it from one cave to another.