Michigan bats found with white-nose fungus

By DANIELLE WOODWARD
Capital News Service
LANSING — A fungus that has already killed more than 10 million bats nationwide has been found for the first time in Michigan. White-nose syndrome was confirmed April 10 in little brown bats in Alpena, Dickinson and Mackinac counties. It is expected to spread quickly through the state, said Bill Scullon, wildlife biologist and statewide bat coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. The bats were found during a routine winter inspection done by researchers contracted by the department. Michigan farmers, foresters and homeowners count on bats as the primary predators of nighttime insects.

Researchers focus attention on Lake Huron

By SARA MATTHEWS
Capital News Service
LANSING — Lake Huron has the most shoreline and is the second largest of the Great Lakes, yet it gets perhaps the least scientific attention. That will soon change now that Lake Huron is the home of a new long-term research program started by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. From the agency’s base at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, scientists are studying water quality, invasive and native species, nutrient levels and physical properties of the lake. It’s long overdue, said Henry Vanderploeg, the program’s lead researcher. “Lake Huron is the least studied lake,” Vanderploeg said.