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Bat killing disease detected in Grand Forks area

A disease affecting bats has shown up in the Grand Forks area.

The B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship says the fungus that causes white nose syndrome has been found in bat droppings (guano) in the area.

The ministry is now looking for the public to report bat roosting sites, unusual behaviour such as flying during the day and any dead bats.

White nose syndrome is an invasive, cold-loving fungus that is transmitted bat-to-bat while they are hibernating in caves. It’s not a threat to people.

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Since it was found in New York State in 2006, it has spread to 38 states and eight provinces in Canada. It’s been on the west coast of the United States since 2016 and B.C. has been monitoring since that time.

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2021 found white nose syndrome killed off more than 90 per cent of long-eared, little brown and tri-coloured bats in fewer than 10 years.

There is currently no treatment or way to prevent its spread, the ministry said.

Three species in Canada are now listed as endangered.

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