BC Bat Action Plan

2016 - 2020 Action Plan

In Response to the Threat of White-nose Syndrome

One of the key goals of the WNS Action Plan is to bring awareness to BC citizens and governments of the urgency and imminence of this disease, and the cascading ecological and economic ramifications that may follow if nothing is done to address this unprecedented wildlife crisis. While motivated by the threat of WNS, there are many other threats that bats face, and there are large knowledge gaps that constrain effective conservation of most species. Given the limited opportunity to directly treat WNS infected bats, it is likely that reducing other threats to bats, enhancing habitats, and filling knowledge gaps for future recovery efforts will play a large role in this province’s WNS strategy.

  • In total there are 84 actions listed in this Action Plan, 39 of which have been identified as high (Essential) priority. The main category with the largest number of actions (34) is “Capacity Building” which includes actions for promoting bat conservation.
  • Actions are listed as Level I, II, and III (with Level I being the highest priority) according to the weightings provided by members during the Chase meeting. Actions within each level are generally listed in no particular order, and are grouped according to topic.

BC Bat Action Plan

Conservation of BC Bats and Facts About Coronavirus

Feb 6, 2020

  • Human health is intertwined with wildlife and environmental health. 
  • Bat populations are declining and bat conservation is important. 
  • Consider all the facts before becoming afraid.  Stop the persecution of bats. 

To get your facts straight, please follow these links:  

Research on bats, bat ecology, bat immunology, and bat virology is ongoing and important. For example, medicine is being developed based on bat saliva, to help stroke and heart disease victims.  

Photo: Townsend’s Big-eared Bat. Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project.

Bat Houses - Best Management Practices

In response to concerns about the conservation value of bat boxes in BC, and how to best use boxes to benefit bats, the BC Community Bat Program has created a new guidance document. Best Management Practices for Bat Boxes in BC summarizes current thinking on how best to deploy artificial roost structures to help bats, as well as information on construction, installation, and maintenance and monitoring.

Bat Box BMPS (Best Management Practices for Bat Boxes)

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.