A fungus that is destroying bat populations in eastern North America has made its first appearance on the Canadian Prairies. Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society report that they’ve found the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in eastern Saskatchewan, despite hopes the western grasslands would prove a barrier. “We have found the fungus,” said Cory Olson, who discovered it while researching how bats use structures on the prairies such as bridges. “It’s easily in the millions of bats in North America that have already died from this fungus.” White-nose syndrome is caused by growth of the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus on the bodies of hibernating bats. Bats are able to fight off the fungus during the summer. But when they hibernate in winter, their immune systems slow down.