Alberta Parks will keep two caves closed this summer to prevent the spread of a disease that is killing bats.

White-nose syndrome has wiped out entire bat colonies across the Maritimes and continues to decimate bat populations everywhere it spreads.

Dave Hobson, a senior wildlife biologist in Alberta, said there are 1,500 bats in the Cadomin cave near Hinton and at least 30 bats in the Wapiabi cave northwest of Nordegg.

The concern is caving enthusiasts could spread the fungus on their gear.

“The fungus gets on a person’s boots who may have been in an infected cave down east and comes to Alberta or B.C. and goes into a cave and spreads the spores to a cave out west here.”

Alberta first closed the caves in 2010.