Maine, losing its bats, looks to citizen scientists

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine wildlife officials are looking for help researching the decline of bats in the state.

Biologists with the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say white-nose syndrome has hit Maine's bat population hard, and some bat species have declined by as much as 98 percent.

The state is asking residents to report bat colonies to the Maine Bat Colony Identification Program via an online survey. They say the survey will help biologists locate existing colonies and assist with understanding the health of the state's bat population at large.

There are eight species of bat in Maine. There are two on the state's endangered list - the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat.