With the onset of hot, humid weather, Bay State homeowners may discover bats residing in their homes. Because Massachusetts and other northeastern states are experiencing a sudden and unexpected decline of bat populations due to a white powdery fungus on bat faces called White Nose Syndrome (WNS), the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is asking anyone with a summer colony of ten bats or more on their property to report that information to agency biologists. Little Brown Bats and Big Brown Bats are the most likely species to be found in buildings.
After receiving reports in February from Vermont and New York about large numbers of bats dying in caves, biologists from MassWildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated caves and mines in western Massachusetts where colonies of bats are known to spend the winter. Biologists observed bats flying around outside of the state's larges mine when they should have all been inside hibernating, and found dead bats near the entrance of the hibernacula (winter quarters) which were collected for further study.