WANTED: Reports of dead bats

February 5, 2019. WANTED: Reports of dead bats and of bats flying during winter

BC bats are threatened by disease, and researchers are asking for the public to help. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America, has moved to the west coast.

Confirmed in Washington State just 150 km south of the BC-US border, the presence of the fungus is very worrisome for the health of bat populations in British Columbia. The disease has near 100% mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus, including the familiar Little Brown Myotis. Although devastating for bats, WNS does not affect humans.

The BC Community Bat Program in collaboration with the BC government is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of this disease. “We believe that our bats hibernate in relatively small groups across the province” says Mandy Kellner. “Detecting WNS in our province will require many eyes on the ground”. The typical first sign of this disease is bats flying during the winter, an unusual sighting at a time of year when bats should be hibernating. Another sign of the presence of WNS is the appearance of dead bats outdoors as they succumb to the effects of WNS.

“We are encouraging the public to report dead bats or any sightings of winter bat activity to the Community Bat Project (CBP) toll-free phone number, website, or email below. Bat carcasses will be submitted for testing for White Nose Syndrome and would provide the earliest indication of the presence of the disease in BC” says Kellner. Reports of winter bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts.

 

If you find a dead bat, report it to the CBP (1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or info@bcbats.ca) as soon as possible for further information. Never touch a dead bat with your bare hands. Please note that if you or your pet has been in direct contact with the bat you will need further information regarding the risk of rabies to you and your pet. 

 

Nov 1, 2018: Surveillance for WNS in BC continues

 

November 1 marks the start of the winter White-nose Syndrome Surveillance period. The Bc Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of BC, is once again asking the public to report any dead bats in an effort to determine the distribution of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal disease harmless to humans but responsible for the deaths of millions of insect-eating bats in North America. WNS was first detected in Washington State in March 2016. 

To monitor the spread of this disease, Community Bat Program coordinators have been collecting reports of unusual winter bat activity across southern BC and ensuring that dead bats are sent to the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre lab for disease testing. Information gained from dead bats and reports of live bats can help determine the extent of the disease, and determine priorities for conservation efforts. 

Fortunately, no WNS has been reported in the province to-date. 


 

 

News: Spring bat reports can help monitor spread of deadly disease

March 6, 2018. 

Reporting dead bats may help save the lives of our BC bats. The BC Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of BC, is asking the public to report any dead bats in an effort to determine the distribution of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal disease harmless to humans but responsible for the deaths of millions of insect-eating bats in North America. WNS was first detected in Washington State in March 2016. 

To monitor the spread of this disease, Community Bat Program coordinators have been collecting reports of unusual winter bat activity across southern BC and ensuring that dead bats are sent to the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre lab for disease testing. Information gained from dead bats and reports of live bats can help determine the extent of the disease, and determine priorities for conservation efforts.  Fortunately, no WNS has been reported in the province to-date. 

Spring conditions now mean increased bat activity – and an increased chance of detecting the disease. As bats begin to leave hibernacula and return to their summering grounds, our chances of seeing live or dead bats increases, and the Community Bat Program is continuing to ask for assistance. “We are asking the public to report dead bats or any sightings of daytime bat activity to the Community Bat Project as soon as possible (1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or info@bcbats.ca)” says Mandy Kellner, coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program. 

Never touch a bat with your bare hands as bats can carry rabies, a deadly disease. Please note that if you or your pet has been in direct contact with a bat, immediately contact your physician and/or local public health authority or consult with your private veterinarian. 

Currently there are no treatments for White Nose Syndrome. However, mitigating other threats to bat populations and preserving and restoring bat habitat may provide bat populations with the resilience to rebound. This is where the BC Community Bat Program and the general public can help. Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Province of BC, and the Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program works with the government and others on public outreach activities, public reports of roosting bats in buildings, and our citizen-science bat monitoring program. 

To contact the BC Community Bat Program, visit www.bcbats.ca, email info@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 24.

 

Spring brings increasing interest in bat health and public reports of bats

 Date: March 9, 2017. 

Fortunately for the bats of BC, it has been a quiet winter. The BC Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of BC, is on the lookout for signs of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal disease harmless to humans but responsible for the deaths of millions of insect-eating bats in eastern North America. WNS was first detected in Washington State in March 2016. To monitor the spread of this disease, Community Bat Program coordinators have been collecting reports of unusual winter bat activity across southern BC and ensuring that dead bats are sent to the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre lab for disease testing. To-date, no WNS has been reported in the province. 

But spring conditions mean increased bat activity – and an increased chance of detecting the disease. As bats begin to leave hibernacula and return to their summering grounds, our chances of seeing live or dead bats increases, and the Community Bat Program is continuing to ask for assistance. 

“We are asking the public to report dead bats or any sightings of daytime bat activity to the Community Bat Project (CBP) as soon as possible
(1-855-922-2287 ext 24 or info@bcbats.ca)” says Mandy Kellner, coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program. Reports of unusual bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts. 

Never touch a bat with your bare hands as bats can carry rabies, a deadly disease. Please note that if you or your pet has been in direct contact with a bat, immediately contact your physician and/or local public health authority or consult with your private veterinarian. 

Currently there are no treatments for White Nose Syndrome. However, mitigating other threats to bat populations and preserving and restoring bat habitat may provide bat populations with the resilience to rebound. This is where the BC Community Bat Program and the general public can help. Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Province of BC, and the Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program works with the government and others on public outreach activities, public reports of roosting bats in buildings, and our citizen-science bat monitoring program. 

To contact the BC Community Bat Program, see www.bcbats.ca, email info@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 24.