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Seasonal bat survey being conducted in southeast Alaska

PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) – Volunteers in southeast Alaska are working to document bats as part of a program aimed at combatting a deadly virus caused by the animals.

KFSK-FM reports (http://bit.ly/2oGq1Jm) volunteers from Petersburg, Juneau, Haines, Sitka and Wrangell are participating in this year’s program, which is coordinated through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Over the last three years, the program has helped gather data to prevent White Noise Syndrome. The fungal disease has killed off more than 7 million bats in the Lower 48 since it was discovered a decade ago.

The volunteers will be monitoring bat activity and recording bat calls while they conduct the driving surveys.

Southeast Alaska has five main bat species that mostly roost in trees during the summer and hibernate through the winter. The region’s most common species is the Little Brown Bat.

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