Sounds of 2008: White Nose Syndrome
(Host) In our Sounds of 2008 series, we head outside as we continue to review the top stories of the past year.
In the spring, scientists were stumped by an affliction that affected bats as they hibernated in caves in the Northeast.
By the thousands, they emerged from their hibernation into the winter cold. And they died.
Many had developed a white fungus around their nose. It came to be known as white-nose syndrome.
In March, endangered species biologist Susi von Oettingen of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visited some caves.
(von Oettingen) "It's just the ultimate mystery for a wildlife biologist, but hopefully not the ultimate tragedy."
(Host) At the end of the year, part of the mystery has been solved. Scientists have determined that the bats are infected with a cold-loving fungus. But the cause of their deaths hasn't been found.
Click here to tell us your favorite sounds of 2008 or to go to the series web page. Click on the link below to listen to the original story.