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Endangered bat colony found in northeast Vermont for the first time in more than a decade

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For the first time in more than a decade, a colony of more than 700 endangered bats has been found in northeast Vermont. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department confirmed that a summer colony of Indiana bats was located on conservation land in Hinesburg this week. The finding is particularly notable because a surviving summer colony of the bats has not been documented in such large numbers in Vermont since the outbreak of White-nose syndrome in 2008-2009, according to biologist Alyssa Bennett. Officials said the bats were also observed to be using bat houses, which is unusual behavior for the species that has not been previously documented in Vermont. Scientists said the Hinesburg colony is the most northeasterly-known population of Indiana bats on record. Typically, Indiana bats are found in the midwestern and eastern parts of the country, and colonies have only been found summering below 1,200 feet in Vermont. Experts believe the move north could be a response to climate change in the bats’ typical roosting areas. Indiana bats have been classified as a federally endangered species since the late 1960s due to human disturbance of the caves they use for winter hibernating, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

For the first time in more than a decade, a colony of more than 700 endangered bats has been found in northeast Vermont.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department confirmed that a summer colony of Indiana bats was located on conservation land in Hinesburg this week.

The finding is particularly notable because a surviving summer colony of the bats has not been documented in such large numbers in Vermont since the outbreak of White-nose syndrome in 2008-2009, according to biologist Alyssa Bennett.

Officials said the bats were also observed to be using bat houses, which is unusual behavior for the species that has not been previously documented in Vermont.

Scientists said the Hinesburg colony is the most northeasterly-known population of Indiana bats on record. Typically, Indiana bats are found in the midwestern and eastern parts of the country, and colonies have only been found summering below 1,200 feet in Vermont.

Experts believe the move north could be a response to climate change in the bats’ typical roosting areas.

Indiana bats have been classified as a federally endangered species since the late 1960s due to human disturbance of the caves they use for winter hibernating, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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