There's a fungal disease called white nose syndrome that affects bats that is potentially fatal. This is what has caused half of Minnesota's bat population to become near extinction.

According to WCCO, white nose syndrome is a fungus that "produces a white, powdery substance and is known to only harm hibernating bats." The Minnesota DNR is reporting that this disease is responsible for killing 94% of the hibernating bat population in Minnesota.

Fun fact about bats in Minnesota, half of them hibernate here in the winter and the other half migrate south. There's a total of 8 species in Minnesota. Gerda Nordquist, department mammalogist, is worried that if this continues we will soon have no more hibernating bats in Minnesota.

Fewer bats is a problem because that means more insects. Bats eat insects and keep the insect population in check. These insects include mosquitos and some agricultural crop pests.

 

Source: WCCO