Look­ing for sur­viv­ing bats

Dev­as­tat­ing spread of white nose syn­drome

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

Those watch­ing a Nova Sco­tia bat colony that es­caped the dev­as­tat­ing spread of white nose syn­drome are on the look­out for other sur­vivors.

The Mersey Tobeatic Re­search In­sti­tute and the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources are keep­ing an eye on about 350 healthy fe­male bats and their young, the largest known ma­ter­nity colony in Nova Sco­tia, and the bat watch­ers would like to hear about oth­ers.

“We need peo­ple to re­port ob­ser­va­tions of bats each time one is seen, es­pe­cially re­peat sight­ings in an area and po­ten­tial roost sites,” Lori Phin­ney of MTRI said Fri­day in a re­lease. “Re­port­ing your bat sight­ings pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant in­for­ma­tion on the bats re­main­ing in the prov­ince. These healthy in­di­vid­u­als are the ba­sis for po­ten­tial re­cov­ery in the fu­ture.”

Re­ports can be made to the Bat Re­port­ing Hot­line at 1-866-727-3447 or on­line at www.bat­con­ser­va­tion.ca.

White nose syn­drome is a fun­gus that has killed most of the bats in eastern North Amer­ica and is spread­ing west­ward.

“The fun­gus rouses the bats from hi­ber­na­tion and de­pletes their fat stores, caus­ing them to die,” Phin­ney said.

“So far, Nova Sco­tians have contributed 2,850 sight­ings of bats in four years, in­clud­ing sig­nif­i­cant sight­ings of ma­ter­nal colonies, over­win­ter­ing sites and im­por­tant roost sites.

“Bats are not only spe­cial be­cause they are only the true fly­ing mam­mals, but they are an ex­cel­lent source of in­sect con­trol. They can eat up to 1,000 in­sects in an hour, act­ing as a con­trol for some of the most dam­ag­ing agri­cul­tural pests. They are also one of the world’s long­est-lived mam­mals for its size, with life spans up to 40 years.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.