It will be months until scientists know if the few survivors of Bucks County’s largest bat population are still alive and reproducing.
When Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologist Greg Turner last checked on Upper Bucks’ bats in the spring of 2011, he found near devastation.
The Durham bat mine was the second largest known bat habitat in Pennsylvania. Now, the ability of about 50 bats to resist the white nose syndrome, make it through the winter and reproduce this summer will determine the future of bats in Bucks County for generations.
If those juveniles are healthy, it could indicate that the surviving bats have a genetic trait or carry a bacteria on their skin that helps the bat to overcome or become immune to the disease, said Turner.
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