White-nose syndrome, an emerging and devastating fungal disease, is not just a bat problem, experts say. The disease has killed an estimated 5.7 million bats in the U.S. since it was first detected in 2006. Bats can carry serious zoonotic diseases, but if they disappear, the diseases likely will not. In addition, bats play an important role in their ecosystems, including pollen and seed dispersal and insect control, that would pose new problems if bats were wiped out.
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