The presence of white nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that’s decimating bat populations throughout eastern North America, has prompted provincial government officials to list two local bat species to the Endangered Species list.
Senior Manager of Wildlife Research with the Department of Fisheries Forestry and Agriculture, Shelly Moores says the designation will provide greater protections for the Little Brown Bat and the Northern Bat.
She says it comes as the result of a recommendation from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, which started monitoring the status of bats in Nova Scotia dating back to 2011.
Based on that recommendation they started monitoring the situation involving bat populations in this province and when White Nose Syndrome was discovered here, they decided to take action.
Ecosystem Management Ecologist, Jessica Humber says White Nose Syndrome affects bats during their hibernation period, and “wakes them up” in mid-winter when food is scarce.
The animals will then start flying around looking for food and water, burning up precious fat stores and many end up dying on the landscape.
The Endangered Species designation will mean that the bats be properly handled by pest control companies and home owners who may find bats on their property.
People can report any sick or dead bats by contacting the Wildlife Division at (709)637-2025, the toll-free bat hotline at 1-833-434-BATS (2287) or their local forestry and wildlife office.