The devastation is real for the bat population, and these little guys need protecting. Here's what one Connecticut town is doing to help.

Bats have quite the reputation. From the vampire variety, feeding on blood, to the ones stuck in your attic that you think will get stuck in your hair, to the flapping wings flying through the evening sky that make you duck even if you don't have to, they are creatures of legend for sure.

The disease that is running rampant through the bat population is the biggest threat though. The website dedicated to the devastating disease, whitenosesyndrome.org has this to say:

White-nose syndrome is a disease affecting hibernating bats. Named for the white fungus that appears on the muzzle and other parts of hibernating bats, WNS is associated with extensive mortality of bats in eastern North America. Bats have been found sick and dying in unprecedented numbers in and around caves and mines. WNS has killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America.

Locally, there is an effort to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome. In a report from newstimes.com a steel gate has been put at the entrance to a popular spot in New Milford known as Tory's Cave. The hope is that it will enable bats in the area to actually stay in hibernation safely, which in turn would help the efforts to not spread WNS.

Kate Moran, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, told the News Times:

The population has taken such a hit with white-nose syndrome, we need to do everything we can to protect the survivors. We hope by restricting access, especially during hibernation time, bats will increase their use of the cave. We haven’t had a lot of activity in recent years

No matter what you think about bats, love them, or they give you the "willies", they are crucial to our ecosystem and it would be devastating if the population was wiped out.

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