Kootenay Community Bat Project needs your help

KCBP asks you to report bat activity

The Kootenay Community Bat Project needs your help this winter. All you need to do is report to them if you spot any bat activity, and especially if you happen across a dead bat.

Leigh Anne Isaac, KCBP coordinating biologist, says there is great concern that a disease deadly to bats may be making its way north.

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, she says.

“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 our bat populations. The disease has near 100 per cent mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus, including the familiar Little Brown Bat. Although devastating for bats, WNS does not affect humans.”

The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) 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” Isaac. “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 KCBP, at www.bcbats.ca, email kootenay@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 14.

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 Isaac. Reports of winter bat activity will help focus research, monitoring and protection efforts.

If you find a dead bat, report it to KCBP 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.

Currently there are no treatments for WNS. 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 KCBP and the general public can help.

Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of the East and Central Kootenays, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Forest Enhancement Society of BC, Province of BC, and the Habitat Stewardship Program, the KCBP works with the government and others on public outreach activities, public reports of roosting bats in buildings, and our citizen-science bat monitoring program.



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Tumbleweeds perform at live and socially distant concert in Kimberley

On Friday, the Kimberley Golf Club hosted a wonderful event. For $30,… Continue reading

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

RCMP confirm fatality in Bootleg Mountain biking accident

Kimberley RCMP have confirmed there was a fatality in a mountain biking… Continue reading

No serious injuries reported after head-on collision near Fort Steele

Traffic was stopped for several hours on Highway 93 while police investigated.

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

New comet appears in pre-dawn sky above Cranbrook

Neowise can be seen without a telescope over the next couple of weeks

Most Read