Cavers question scope of white nose bat deaths - WSMV News 4

Cavers question scope of white nose bat deaths

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A national organization of recreational cavers is questioning a new estimate of the number of bats killed by a mysterious ailment.

The estimate by state and federal scientists says that 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats had died across the Northeast. It was released this month.

But a Vermont-based official with the National Speleological Society says the estimate could lead to unnecessary restrictions on access to caves.

He says the estimate will affect decisions to close caves and mines or limit access to them

But Ann Froschauer of the Fish and Wildlife Service says the figure is, if anything, too low.

The ailment was first spotted in New York six years ago and is spreading across the country.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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