- Associated Press - Thursday, April 19, 2012

VOORHEESVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - There are more bats in caves first struck by white-nose syndrome, giving researchers a glimmer of hope in the scourge that has killed millions of bats in North America.

Figures released Thursday by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to The Associated Press show an uptick in the number of little brown bats in three out of five upstate New York hibernation caves where white nose was first documented. Populations in those caves had been decimated by the disease, which prompts bats to wake from hibernation and die in a futile search for food.

Agency officials say they’re “cautiously optimistic.” But they say it’s too soon to conclude that a population recovery is under way, in part because of the small number of caves showing increases.

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