APNewsBreak: 2 bats proposed for endangered list

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine officials say two bat species are being proposed for the state's endangered species list because they've been decimated by white nose syndrome.

Officials said Wednesday that cave counts of the northern long-eared bat and little brown bat show nearly 90 percent declines. A third species, the eastern small-footed bat, will be proposed for the state's threatened species list.

White nose syndrome was first discovered about eight years ago in New York and has since been confirmed in at least half the states in the country. The disease, caused by a fungus, turns muzzles of sickened bats white and interrupts hibernation, which robs them of energy and stored fat.

Maine lawmakers would have to approve the addition to the endangered list. The last time that happened was in 2007.

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