Associated Press News Release
CLAYTON, Ga. (AP) -- The man-made Black Diamond Tunnel in the northeast Georgia mountains is the state's largest known winter shelter for some of Georgia's 16 bat species.
WABE Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1kK4CD3) that it's also the latest site in the state to fall victim to white-nose syndrome. The fungal disease has killed more than 6 million bats in the eastern half of the U.S. since it arrived from Europe in 2006.
Almost immediately upon pushing off into the flooded tunnel in a small Jon boat, Katrina Morris, a bat specialist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, points to dead bats floating in the chilly, rippling water.
Regina Bleckley, who owns the land on which the tunnel sits, says she knew something was wrong when a bat flew out in the middle of winter.
Information from: WABE-FM, http://www.wabe.org/