Bucks County residents can expect to see fewer creatures of the night flying through the sky this summer.
A deadly disease is killing off bat populations in the county as well as several states across the Northeast, according to the Philly Burbs.
White Nose Syndrome is a disease that affects hibernating bats. Bats infected by WNS have a white fungus on their muzzle and other body parts. WNS causes the bats to lose the body fat they need to survive during hibernation. Eventually, the infected bats starve to death during the winter.
According to the Philly Burbs, WNS is transferred from bat to bat though scientists are unsure of how exactly it spreads.
Game Commission biologist Greg Turner told the Philly Burbs that of the 10,000 bats that hibernated in the Durham mine in Bucks County for generations, only 200 are still alive.
While scientists say that the disease does not affect humans or other animals, the dwindling bat population can still have a negative affect on everyone else.
During the spring and summer, bats feed on insects, including mosquitoes which can carry disease.
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Scientists are asking residents to contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission if they happen to find any bats this summer. They hope to collect data from the surviving bats in order to help them fight the disease. Female bats and their young often stay in abandoned houses, barns and church steeples during the summer, according to the Philly Burbs.
For more information on White Nose Syndrome, click here.