MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

A new bat species has been discovered in Wisconsin for the first time in more than 60 years.

Department of Natural Resources officials say researchers discovered the new species, known as an evening bat, living in the hollow of trees in Avon Bottoms State Natural Area in Rock County.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  reports that the researchers who discovered the bats were studying summer habitats of other species that are vulnerable to white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that has killed millions of bats across the country.

Department officials say the discovery is the first new bat species found in the state since 1954.

The department's natural heritage conservation species section chief, Owen Boyle, says a new discovery for mammals is significant because they are already highly studied.