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Michigan's bat population in danger


LANSING (WKZO) -- Bats play an important role in the eco-system by eating insects that are harmful to crops, trees and humans and now a fungus that has been killing them by the millions has been detected for the first time in Michigan. DNR officials are taking steps to protect them.

An estimated 6.7-million bats have been killed in the Northeast by White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that forms on the bats and keeps them from hibernating properly.

They starve and die.

The fungus has been discovered on a Little Brown Bat in northern Michigan.

Naturalists say it can wipe out entire bat colonies. They say humans spread it, which they learned too late in the north east.

That’s why the DNR is ending human access to caves in state parks where bats are known to hibernate. There are estimates that losing the bat population in Michigan could have a billion dollar impact on the state’s agricultural and forestry industries, because there will be no predator species to keep certain bugs under control.