CHESTER (AP) — A fungus that causes a deadly disease in bats has been detected in California for the first time.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuge specialist Catherine Hibbard said Friday that samples collected this spring from bats on private land in the Northern California town of Chester tested positive for the fungus.
The fungus causes white-nose syndrome, which can lead to dehydration or other conditions that kill bats.
Hibbard says there is no sign the disease is currently affecting bat populations in California.
She says the fungus was first detected in New York in 2006 and has spread incrementally.
Bats that have contracted the disease have now been confirmed in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces.
Another five states, including California, have bats that have tested positive for the fungus.